GENERAL PRINCIPLES FOR ETHICAL CONDUCT OF AKA MEMBERS
The general ethical principles constitute a binding standard of behavior and conduct, valid for all member agencies of the Association of Communications Agencies of the Czech Republic (AKA), and compliance with them is mandatory. Any agency whose employees violate these principles will be called to account. Employees of member agencies bind themselves to comply with the principles of their agency as well as of the AKA.
AKA member agencies are obliged to familiarize all of their employees with the principles. The member agency’s director is liable for any failure to comply with them.
The AKA’s management must be informed of any violation without delay. Upon receipt of a complaint, the AKA’s director must request an explanation from the accused member and subsequently turn the case over to the AKA’s Conciliation and Arbitration Commission. The AKA’s Conciliation and Arbitration Commission reviews and rules on the case in accordance with the AKA’s Charter.
Members manage their business in accordance with the legal order of the Czech Republic, with the requirements of the AKA Charter and also with the Ethical Code of Conduct of the Advertising Standards Council. It is every member’s obligation to put its skills into practice, to develop its business in a socially responsible way and to refrain from any activities that might discredit the AKA or the business of its member agencies in general.
AKA members must not, either directly or indirectly, disparage other AKA members or point out a lack of professionalism in their work. This relates above all to creative work, which is frequently the subject of critical judgments by the media or employees of competing agencies. The evaluative commentaries can be critical, but they must not be unfair and offensive.
AKA member agencies shall not list the names of the competitors they face in selection procedures in press releases or in public statements about newly acquired clients. This principle does not prevent them from announcing their successes in acquiring new contracts and clients.
It is unacceptable for one AKA member agency to contact a client of another AKA member agency with a proposal to perform an order or to establish cooperation in a manner that is dishonorable or undercuts the other member—for example, a speculative offer of pre-ordered advertising time or space, by submitting unsolicited and speculative creative proposals, market research, etc..
AKA member agencies are authorized to request remuneration for participating in selective procedures, particularly when a component of the selection procedure was a strategic recommendation and/or creative proposals. This principle is a recommendation, not a binding standard.
When a client replaces an agency, the incoming agency is obliged to support settlement of all of the client’s obligations to the outgoing agency. Persuading employees of the former agency to join the new agency is an unacceptable competitive method.
AKA members must not resort to conduct that is considered unethical in the Czech Republic or in European Union member states. Unethical conduct includes, for example, any form of bribes for the client’s employees, concealing commissions from suppliers or the media, false accounting expenses, etc.
These principles were adopted by the AKA’s General Assembly in 1999 and have been augmented in the years since.