About ABEMD's Code of Ethics
- CHAPTER 1 - TERMS OF OFFER
- CHAPTER 2 - ANSWERING SERVICE
- CHAPTER 3 - MAILING LISTS
- CHAPTER 4 - TELEMARKETING
- CHAPTER 5 - FUND-RAISING
- CHAPTER 6 - COMPLIANCE WITH LEGISLATION
The ABEMD Code of Ethics, Brazilian Association of Direct Marketing, constitutes a self-regulation of the direct marketing segment in Brazil.
AS used in this context, direct marketing means an interactive system that employs one or more media to obtain a response or transaction measurable in some location.
The present self-regulatory rules have the purpose of providing for the consumers and organizations, which act in direct marketing, principles of conduct generally accepted domestically and internationally.
This Code reflects ABEMD 's policies to sustain a level of conduct that gives priority to responsibility, not only of the entity but also of the direct marketing agents, in establishing a relationship with the consumer based on fair and ethical principles.
All members are effectively required to adhere to this Code, taking into consideration its principles and purposes, and not to consider its rules as mere obstacles to be overcome by means of legal maneuvers.
As considering that abusive commercial practices and any fraudulent communication, immoral or offensive, are always harmful to publicity, including the direct marketing segment, ABEMD determines that all affiliates be in compliance with this Code.
1.1. The offer of products or services shall be clear, accurate and complete as to price, eventual service charges and fees, payment conditions and obligations in which the consumer will incur by completing the order, so that she/he could understand the precise nature of the sale.
1.2. Before publishing an offer, the direct marketing agents shall be prepared to prove all announced affirmations. It is totally forbidden any publicity or untruthful, misleading or fraudulent statements, or that depreciate other companies with no justification.
1.3. Communication materials shall include a clear description of the essential aspects of the offer and of the product or service. It shall be clearly mentioned if an offer makes reference to goods that are not included or that incurs in extra charges.
1.4. Communication materials that could affect the offer accuracy, or related exceptions, due to their reduced dimensions, localization or other visual characteristic, shall not be used.
1.5. Representative photographs, illustrations and situations shall constitute faithful reproductions of the products or services related in the communication material.
1.6. All descriptions and guarantees shall be in compliance with the conditions, situations and circumstances in force at the moment of the offer. References to any limitations (such as time and quantity) shall be expressed in the communication material and shall be accomplished.
1.7. Discrimination of any person or group based on race, skin color, religion, nationality, sex, age or marital status will not be accepted.
1.8. Proposals shall not include offensive or unacceptable material for publicity in moral terms.
Publicity for children
1.9. Offers only appropriate for adults shall not be directed to children.
Identification and purpose
1.10. In every direct marketing contact the objectives and name of the company, institution or responsible organization shall be expressed. No one can make offers or requests under the excuse of research or similar if the real purpose is related to sales.
1.11. Offers and deliveries shall clearly present the name and address or the telephone number of the direct marketing agent so that the consumer can make contact to.
Proposal instead of billing
1.12. It shall not be used proposals that might be confounded with invoices, billings or other collections' documents.
1.13. When there is service charges or fees for delivery, this shall be compatible with prices in force at the market.
Use of the word "free" and similar terms
1.14. Any product or service offered to the consumer without costs or obligations can be presented as "free". When a product or service is offered as for free and/or the offer demands that the consumer buys any other product or service, all terms and conditions shall be presented together with the word “free” or the similar term used.
Systems of Sales
1.15. The Consumer Code forbids offers of negative option -those that demand a non-acceptance manifestation from the consumer.
1.16. Programs of automatic and continuing supply of products and services shall obtain a previous agreement of the consumer on the initial terms and conditions for conditions.
1.17. The communication material that compares products and services with the competitors shall respect the following principles and limits:
- The major purpose of the comparison shall be to provide more information or defend the consumer;
- The comparison shall have as principle the objectivity. Subjective data, of psychological or emotional aspects, do not constitute a valid basis for comparison before the consumer;
- The comparison shall be able to be proved;
- The price comparison shall mention the source used;
- The comparison shall not be made among products or services in different times, unless it is about a reference for demonstrating the evolution of consumer goods, which, in this case, shall be properly characterized;
- The comparison shall not make a confusion among rival products and brands, if so it will be characterized as an act of unfaithful competition or will downgrade the image of the product, service or brand of other company.
Warranties and Guarantees
1.18. When a product or service is provided with a warrant or guarantee (including technical assistance and support) the communication material shall describe its terms and conditions or inform how the consumer could acknowledge them.
Use of tests or research in the communication
1.19. Researches and tests used in communication material shall contain the respective sources and methodology, and prove the specific argument referred to. The communication material cannot distort neither the results of tests or researches nor employ them out of context.
Statements and representations
1.20. Statements and representation could only be used when:
- Authorized by the mentioned person;
- Faithful and related to the experience of the mentioned person;
- Not taken out of the context as to cause a distortion at the person's opinion or experience with the product or service.
2.1. Products and services shall comply with the legislation in force. Information given together with the product shall include correct and complete instructions for use, including a warning on security and assemblage always when necessary.
2.2. Direct marketing agents can only offer available products and services or when there is an estimate date for the supply or delivery of them.
2.3. When the communication material does not specify the delivery term of products or services, a maximum 30-day period, from the date the order has been received, becomes the established term. In any case, the direct marketing agents shall deliver the order as soon as possible.
Equal opportunities for credit
2.4. Direct marketing agents who offer an option for payment in installments in their campaigns shall formally present the reasons why a credit request was denied, when requested by the consumer.
3.1. Mailing list is a set of individual information on consumers - individuals or companies - used in the professional activities of direct marketing, and shall be defined in this way every time it is published.
Respect to the consumer's privacy
3.2. Direct marketing agents who offer to other company the possibility of using their mailing list of costumers for direct marketing actions shall inform such practice to the consumer at the moment that its data are being collected.
3.3. Direct marketing agents shall offer to the consumer the option to exclude its name from their mailing list, and provide the exclusion to those who wished so.
3.4. Direct marketing agents shall restrict the information collected from consumers and shared with other companies to those data related to marketing purposes only.
3.5. Selection criteria and information that could be considered as personal or intimate shall not be shared with other companies, when the consumer believes that such data are maintained in private.
Agreements on the use of mailing lists
3.6. Direct marketing agents shall check the source and methods for composing the mailing list before using them or becoming their intermediary agent.
3.7. The owners, responsible for the compilation and intermediation of the mailing lists shall not permit that the lists are shared with offers which might violate any of the rules contained in this Code.
3.8. The offers shall be directed to those segments of public that will most likely be interested on, or be prospect users of, the offered products and services.
Respect to the property on mailing list
3.9. No list or information contained within shall be used in the violation of legal rights of the list's owner or the agreement between the parties. Any abuse shall be informed to the legal owner.
4.1. At the telemarketing approaches and closing of deals through this distribution channel, the direct marketing agent shall comply with the provisions of this Code on the Offer, Answering Service and Mailing Lists.
Infra-estrutura de atendimento receptivo
4.2. Before to disclose a telephone number for receptive answering, the direct marketing agent shall carefully calculate the proper dimension of the necessary infrastructure to receive the stimulated demand.
4.3. In active telemarketing actions, those in which the marketing agent does the telephone call, the contact shall only be made from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 21:30, and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 18:00. On Sundays and holidays, no kind of active telemarketing shall be carried out.
4.4. Methods of coercion or intimidation shall not be used in any way.
4.5. O agente de marketing direto não poderá realizar chamadas a cobrar para os consumidores, salvo com seu prévio consentimento.
Use of automatic equipment
4.6. Equipment for automatic dialing could only be used if the telephone line is set free at the moment that the called party hangs up.
4.7. All recorded messages should be preceded by a contact from an operator, requesting for an authorization for transmission. Only in the case of public utility messages, for example, vaccine campaign, an operator's intervention is dispensed.
Recording of Telephone calls
4.8. Recording of telephone conversations could only be performed with the interlocutor's agreement.
4.9. Recording of telephone conversations, always with the interlocutor's agreement, is recommended for registering the closing of deals and training operators.
Approach of children
4.10. Formulating offers by telephone and closing sale deals with children is forbidden.
Veto to participation in earnings
5.1. Concerning acts of Fund-raising and donations to nonprofit institutions, individuals a well as organizations or companies that are part of them should not be proportionally remunerated with the resources raised.
Authenticity of the institution
5.2. No fund-raising and donations shall be done for non-profit institutions that are not effectively functioning.
6.1. The direct marketing agents shall act in accordance with the Consumer Code and comply with the in-force legislation about publicity, marketing and commercial practices.
(Approval Date: 3/12/97)
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