The Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released a Statement on Code Interpretation for marketing and advertising to children and teens. The Statement responds to growing confusion on appropriate age benchmarks, and confirms that age 12 is the benchmark age in identifying "children," while "young people" or "teens" 13 - 18. The Statement is intended to help clarify guidance under the ICC Consolidated Code of Marketing and Advertising Practice to ensure that advertising targeted to children or teens is handled responsibly and age appropriately. The Statement is supplemented by a Reference Guide on Advertising to Children, which highlights relevant research.
Children and young people will inevitably be exposed to marketing communications, but treating teens and children identically is not consistent with either their abilities, interests, or level of understanding. While ICC recognizes that some local laws may define "children" and "young people" differently, ICC's guidance takes a consistent and uniform approach regarding the age parameters of both groups to encourage responsible marketing and advertising practices in marketing directed to these two age groups.
ICC supports self-regulation in advertising. The ICC Consolidated Code of Marketing and Advertising Practice is viewed as the "gold standard" for marketing communications practices.