Advocacy Issues

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Societal and political challenges for the advertising industry are increasingly global in nature, and need to be addressed in a consistent and coherent manner. WFA defends the interest of marketers worldwide by advocating proportionate and evidence-based policy making and by engaging directly with international bodies, such as the World Health Organisation, the European Union, and the International Chamber of Commerce. Through its global network from Beijing to Sao Paolo, from Helsinki to New Delhi WFA supports national advertiser associations in their advocacy work at national level.

The Value of Advertising

Advertising plays an important role in today's society. It is the driver of consumer choice and, by catalyzing market competition, helps us get better value for money. It enables innovation to be brought to market and stimulates economic growth and jobs. It funds free and independent media, an unprecedented variety of content, and a wide variety of sport and cultural events. WFA works to ensure that policy discussions which may impact marketing communications fully take into account the value of advertising for the economy, society and consumers.

For more information see:
The Value of Advertising website

Responsibility and Self-Regulation

Responsibility in marketing communications is a pre-condition for building and maintaining trust. WFA is at the forefront of efforts to set and enforce industry-wide standards for responsibility, based on clear, regulator-endorsed criteria. Worldwide, these self-regulatory systems are constantly evolving in line with societal expectations. In turn, public authorities are increasingly recognizing effective self-regulation as a valuable complement to law.

The global marketing code of the International Chamber of Commerce sets out the common global industry standards, and serves as a baseline for the national Self-Regulatory Organisations that enforce codes in their markets.

For more information see:
Global Codes Centre
European Advertising Standards Alliance
International Guide to Self-Regulation


The rapid growth of digital media and the prospect of better targeted, more relevant advertising messages create not only new opportunities for consumers and advertisers but also have implications for privacy and data protection. WFA helps its members continuously review their practices and industry-wide self-regulatory systems and helps modernize policy frameworks to reflect changes in the media and marketing environment.

Alcohol Advertising

Advertisers take their role seriously in promoting responsible alcohol consumption and are constantly reviewing their practices as a result. Yet, alcohol advertising does not cause alcohol related harm and further restrictions to marketing communications are not a solution. WFA helps alcohol marketers meaningfully engage and better navigate this challenging environment while advocating policies that take full account of the important contribution advertisers can make.

Sustainable Development

Beyond selling brands and ideas, advertising plays a positive role in addressing critical societal challenges, from increasing disease awareness to promoting water-saving. WFA leads advertiser efforts globally to demonstrate how marketing communications can be a valuable tool to help preserve the standards of living we have come to expect without sacrificing the needs of future generations.

Food Advertising

Driven by a multitude of factors from more sedentary lifestyles to unbalanced diets, the public health challenge posed by obesity can only be tackled by a collective effort of the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Worldwide, WFA supports advertisers' commitments to promote healthier choices and eating habits. Yet, food advertising does not cause obesity. WFA helps formulate policies which allow advertiser initiatives to have their greatest impact while avoiding heavy-handed interventions that would not reduce obesity rates but undermine the important contribution advertisers can make to address the problem.

Advertising and Children

Children today are growing up in an environment shaped by media, entertainment and popular culture. Advertising is an intrinsic part of this. There are major benefits, from first-rate children's programming to unprecedented access to technology, knowledge and communication tools. But children also need to learn to decipher and critically interpret the range of communications, including marketing communications, around them. In recognition of the special care that is required when advertising to children, WFA leads a global coalition of the advertising industry to identify, promote and replicate good practice and champion socially responsible initiatives, which go beyond compliance with industry standards.

For more information see:
Responsible Advertising & Children Programme


Advertisers have a major stake in ensuring a fair, open and competitive market for marketing communications. WFA works with its members and relevant regulatory agencies to ensure that a fast-evolving media and agency landscape continues to preserve the benefits for advertisers and consumers of a high level of competition and transparency in the advertising marketplace.