Global Presentation

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1. Introduction

The ARPP is the French advertising self-regulatory organization. Its goal is to maintain high standards in terms of legal, honest, and truthful advertising, which is in the interest of both the consumers and the advertisers.

Its mission is to uphold the balance between creativity as well as the advertisers’ freedom of expression and the responsibility and respect due to consumers. This is at the heart of the advertising self-regulatory system.

The 10 golden rules of advertising ethics can be read here .

The daily work of the ARRP can be categorised into the following actions :

 Elaborate Ethical Standards
The advertising industry voluntarily polices itself : advertisers, agencies and media drew up a code of standards and practice (the ARPP Standards), in order to insure that all advertisements in France are exemplary, going beyond the simple implementation of the law.

The “Conseil Paritaire de la Publicité” takes part in the drafting of new self regulatory standards. Before the drafting of any new standard, the CPP voices publicly its opinion on the different requests expressed by the associations concerning the upcoming standard.

 Secure the proper implementation of the standards
On a daily basis the ARPP’s legal experts make sure that the standards are respected before the advertisement is broadcast :
  • COPY ADVICE : Any advertiser, advertising agency or media company can submit its non-finalised project to the legal experts of ARPP provided they are a member. The project can take various forms : story board, script, poster or half-finalised film(…etc) and all types of media can be reviewed : TV, press, radio, public boards, internet..
  • PRE-CLEARANCE : Mandatory advice before the broadcast of all TV commercials. In order to ensure their compliance with the highest possible legal and ethical standards and practices, all French TV Channels put the ARPP in charge of clearing all finalised TV commercials before broadcast. The ad can only be broadcast if the ARPP clears the ad for broadcast. If necessary it will request that modifications are made to the ad prior to broadcast or if an ad is truly in breach of the codes it will bar the ad from being broadcast.

The legal experts can also take hold of a breach noticed after the broadcast and contact directly the advertiser.

 Development of self regulation
The ARPP makes sure that the self-regulatory standards are well known (through conferences, newsletters…), works on the expansion of the number of its members and supports the promotion of self-regulatory systems on a national and international level.

ARPP is a private association, in accordance with the 1901 law, and is completely independent of the public powers. Statutorily, the ARPP re-groups 4 categories of members
  • Advertisers
  • Advertising agencies
  • Media companies
  • “Corresponding” members (trade unions, law offices, associations…)

The ARPP, as stated in the new statutes passed in 2008, is chaired by an independent and eminent individual. S/He leads the Board of Directors, where all the major actors of the French advertising industry are represented.

François d’Aubert, has been the Chairman of the ARPP since November 2011. The ARPP legal team is composed of experts specialised in law and ethical standards. Its Managing Director is Stéphane Martin since April 2010.

L’ARPP is solely financed and entirely managed by advertising related businesses. It does not receive any subsidies provided by public institutions.

The funding of the association is secured through membership fees (80 %). Further income is generated through the ARPP’s pre-clearance services. In 2013 the annual total ARPP budget (personal, office..) amounted to 3,18 millions Euros.

Joining the ARPP means being in favour of legal, honest, and truthful advertising. It means supporting the development of self-regulation, since the ARPP is financed through membership fees.

Law firms

Look at membership fees


  • The basis of the national self-regulatory rules : the codes have their origin in the International Code of Advertising Practice published by the International Chamber of Commerce (CCI)
  • Initiative : the new standards are drafted on the initiative of the ARPP, or upon request of a professional or inter-professional association, or on the initiative of the associations brought together within the Conseil Paritaire de la Publicité,
  • The CPP, which effectively is a body that promotes dialogue between professionals, consumers associations and environmental associations, contributes to the drafting of new standards by publicly voicing its advice on the creation of a new standard.
  • Drafting : Ad-hoc technical commissions are in charge of the actual drafting of the new standards. They are composed of professionals (advertising agencies, advertisers, media companies) and of ARPP legal experts.
 Self regulatory rules in effect
The ARPP standards, which amount to around forty, can be divided into 5 categories : the general rules, the thematic rules, the media rules media, sectorial rules and finally the doctrine notes.

Self regulatory rules


Would you like to complain about an advertisement ? Contact the Jury de déontologie publicitaire

The Jury de Déontologique Publicitaire (JDP) is an independent authority and handles consumer complaints concerning regarding ads that seem to breach the rules. This body is not competent to deal with complaints concerning ads that violate the law. In this case the relevant governmental authority or court should be contacted.

Functioning of the JDP :

  • Anyone can refer a matter to the Jury (private people, associations, government services…)
  • In order to be admissible, the complaint must be about (cumulative conditions) :
    An advertisement ;
    A clearly identified ad, which was effectively broadcast in France
    A problem concerning the implementation of the self-regulatory standards
  • The Jury meets frequently in order to guarantee that all complaints will be dealt with in less than a month. Most of the complaints are settled within ten days.
  • A fast-track procedure, reserved for serious and obvious breaches, enables the Jury to take a decision within a maximum period of 48h.

All JDP decisions are published and can be tracked.


In order to be relevant, self-regulation must pay attention to the different requests expressed by the concerned persons and associations.

Listening to all stakeholders and maintaining the dialogue are qualities that have been reinforced at the ARPP since 2005 :

 The « Conseil de l’Ethique Publicitaire »

Its role is to follow the quick evolution of sensitive issues and the values put forward by society. Keeping abreast of such evolutions is important to ensure that standards keep pace with current issues.

The CEP consists of independent experts and professionals, and is a place for open discussions on advertising ethics. The composition of the CEP aims at insuring a dialogue between the different families of the industry and experts from civil society.

It is set out that the President of this body should be an independent person with no ties to the industry. This person then chooses the seven experts from civil society, who must also be independent of the industry. The President makes sure the members of the CEP represent the diversity of the society and have extensive knowledge in a wide range of areas : sociology, physics, psychology, pedagogy, linguistics and politics.

The CEP mission is to review and voice its opinion publicly on two types of issues :

  • On new issues related to advertising ethics The CEP produces reports in order to study and predict the evolutions of society concerning advertisements and proposes new or adapted standards of advertising ethics.
  • An evaluation of self-regulation itself The CEP is an organ that critics and judges the efficiency of self-regulation. It points out the sectors where more vigilance is necessary. The CEP, therefore, has an objective and expert point of view on the relation between advertisements and their social environment.
 The « Conseil Paritaire de la Publicité »
The Conseil Paritaire de la Publicité (CPP) is a place for dialogue and cooperation between representatives of civil society (consumers associations and environmental associations) and representatives of the advertising industry.

The CPP has 18 members – 9 professionals, 9 associative persons – and is chaired by one of its members who comes from the associative sphere.

Its mission is to alert the ARPP Board of Directors on the expectations of different associations or organisms concerning the content of advertisements. It also contributes to the discussion on the constant re-evaluation of the self-regulatory rules.

 The « Forum Pub et Cité »

Launched by the ARPP in 2005, these forums are an opportunity to debate and discuss a theme that is related to advertising. These meetings put face to face representatives of society and of the advertising industry. Previous themes have been « violence and rudeness » in 2005, « ethnic minorities » in 2006, « sustained development » in 2007 and « body representations » in 2008.

 The surveys
ARPP follows the evolution of society’s sensitivity towards certain issues in order to update its codes frequently. Therefore, the ARPP sends out surveys at regular intervals to give the opportunity to the silent majority to speak out.

 The complaints

Other than their handling by the “Jury de déontologie publicitaire”, the complaints are a good source of information to track the issues that are currently considered sensitive by society.


Requests can be sent to the following email address : or phone with one of our receptionists (+33) 1 40 15 15 40.

 Apply for Membership
To become a member of ARPP, please contact Françoise Asséré (Tel. : +33 (0)1 40 15 15 40 ; email :

She will give you information about ARPP membership.
Application can be done online it becomes official upon payment of the entrance fee and first year membership fee. It is submitted to agreement of our Board of Directors.

Payment can be easily done by bank transfer or online payment.

Information about membership fees can be found here.

 Requests for Copy Advice
ARPP members benefit from personal, free and confidential advice delivered by the ARPP legal experts. Specialised in consumption and communication law, they answer quickly to any question. Copy Advice works on a members only basis.

This type of advice concerns any type of media and can be delivered at all steps in the creation of the advertisement.

The procedure to follow is :

Send your request You can send your project under various formats :

  • A simple question, or idea
  • A scale model
  • A poster/ a picture
  • A script/screenplay
  • Story board
  • Half-finalised film

Copy advice requests and the enclosures must be sent through the new online submission system ARPP.PRO.

 Mandatory Pre-Clearance before TV Broadcast
In order to ensure their compliance with the best possible legal and ethical standards and practices, the advertising industry put the ARPP in charge of clearing all TV advertisements before broadcast.

The procedure is the following :

  • Each advertisement must be sent to the ARPP via the dedicated website : l’ARPP.TV
  • Identification form : the advertisement must be accompanied by an identification form, fully completed and paid for. ARPP members benefit from a preferential rate. This document is the identity card of the advertisement and includes the name of the advertiser, of the product, the title of the spot, its length, its nature(original creation, new version or declination of the spot already broadcast), the date of its first broadcasting …. An identification number will be given to the advertisement. That number will be used throughout the ad’s existence and will help its identification and research by the different archiving organisms (INA …)

To purchase forms

 SACEM Appendix : the identification form that must be joined to the ad for the pre-clearance is also accompanied by an appendix, which is relevant for the music used in the ad. (The ARPP is charged with providing the information necessary to SACEM regarding the legal use of music in the advert). If the advertisement contains music, a musical appendix must be completed with the following information : name of the advertiser, name of the advertising agency, name of the product, the title of the piece of music, the length, the name of the composer, of the author and the editor, and the country of origin.
This form must be duly completed, since any omission can trigger delay in the handling of the project.

 The advertisements submitted to the ARPP via the Internet, in H264 format, films must be sent following these rules :
  • Each advertisement must be in a separate file
  • Each advertisement must be preceded of 12 black images and followed by 12 black images
  • All the audio and video settings that need to be respected are on the ARPP web site : ARPP.TV.
  • If your ad features music the SACEM appendix must be filled out (available online).
    The ads are viewed by ARPP legal experts. There are 2 viewing sessions per day, with each time at least 4 legal experts present.
  • Once the ad has been viewed the ARPP will produce an advice regarding the ad. Such an advice concerns the compliance with ethical standards, with legislation and with the doctrine of the CSA. The advice can be “Favourable”, can request some “changes” to be made to the advertisement or can be “unfavourable : do not broadcast”.
  • The concerned person will be immediately informed of the advice given on the website and by fax. The TV channels will receive at the same time the list of all the advices given out that day.
  • In order to help the work of the professionals, the ARPP guarantees an advice will be delivered within 48h after the request is submitted. However, please remember to count it in your schedules before the broadcast of your advertisement. Please also note that if your advertisement receives an advice « changes requested » a new 48h period will be necessary.)
  • Any modification of an advertisement, even a minor one, involves a new submission to the ARPP (and a new identification form). If the ARPP asks for changes in the advertisement, its legal experts work with the responsible of the advertisement in order to find solutions.

English video tutorial - ARPP.TV : How to manage your Film IDs and your TV-VOD preclearance requests

Useful Documents


 The ARPP Letter : « L’ARPP »

 The ARPP Quarterly Review : « Cahiers de l’Autodiscipline française »

 Newsletter : « RéCAP »

 Annual Report

 Monitoring Projects
Each year since 2003, ARPP has conducted monitoring projects in order to :
  • Ensure the correct implementation of ARPP Codes and copy advices
  • Measure and prove the efficiency of self regulation

The monitoring projects are conducted in priority in sectors where society is more sensitive, for example : taste and decency, environment, minorities , violence and gambling

Since 2003, the ARPP conducts topical studies on specific themes such as the image of the human being or ecology in order to :
  • Secure the proper implementation of the ethical standards
  • Keep an eye on the advertising tendencies, in order to spot quickly the new movements that might be problematic.
  • Measure and prove the efficiency of self-regulation.

These studies are undertaken prioritising topical issues such as for example the representation of the human being, the environment, minorities and violence.


The ARPP is one of the founding members of EASA (European advertising standards).
EASA is the single authoritative voice of advertising self-regulation. It promotes responsible advertising through best practice in self-regulation across the Single Market for the benefit of consumers and business. Its membership consists of both self-regulatory organisations in Europe and other parts of the world as well as advertising associations.
Its goals are the following :

  • To promote and support the actual self-regulatory systems
  • To co-ordinate the actions of its members concerning the handling of cross-border complaints
  • To effectively spread the use of good practices and ethical standards in order to trigger a raise in the self regulatory standards
  • To publicise the self-regulatory system, encourage the circulation of information on self-regulation in the advertising industry in Europe.


Purchase of Identification form