The Consolidated ICC Code applies to all advertising and other marketing communications for the promotion of any kind of goods and services, corporate and institutional promotion included.
Its standards of ethical conduct should be observed by everyone concerned with marketing communications, whether as advertisers, marketers, advertising practitioners or agencies, in the media, or in related functions. Implementation of the Code will vary depending on individual circumstances: it may be applied by self-regulatory organisations setup for the purpose, as well as by individual companies, agencies, media, etc.
The Code is to be applied against the background of whatever legislation maybe applicable.
When applied in different countries or specific markets, ICC global codes enhance harmonization and coherence, yet they are flexible enough to accommodate variations in culture and societal rules and norms. Where legislation and regulation are not consistent across borders, the Code defers to local rules. For example, since the definition of the term “child” or “young person” varies widely, the provisions outlined in this code that apply to marketing communications addressed to children and young people recommend the use of local definitions. An exception is in the field of privacy where there is general consensus on the age at which rules relating to “children” apply. Hence, for the purpose of all privacy-related sections, including sections on online behavioural advertising, and in the absence of relevant local regulatory or self-regulatory definitions, the Consolidated ICC Code refers to "children" as 12 and under.