Conar is a Brazilian non-governmental organization that self-regulates the advertising sector in the country. Find out how this institution was created and what is its functions in the country.
O Código Brasileiro de Autorregulamentação Publicitária, most known as Conar, is the Brazilian Advertising Self-regulation Council. It was created by advertising agents and professionals of other fields as a non-governmental organization that aims to promote the freedom of expression for advertising and defend the rights of advertising.
Its mission mainly attends to complaints made by consumers, authorities, partners or by members of the Council itself. The Council is maintained by contributions paid by the largest Brazilian advertising entities and their affiliates, such as advertisers, agencies and information vehicles. Its headquarter is in São Paulo, but operates throughout the country since 1980.
Threat to Freedom Expression
Conar was born in the 1980s, but its creation was a consequence of a threat to the advertising sector from the last years of the 1970s. By that time, the federal government - a Military Dictatorship - aimed to create a censorship law that would established a requirement for previous governmental approval for any type of advertising produced in Brazil. If the law was implemented, no advertising could be put into circulation without first receiving a governmental stamp that showed it was "in Accordance" or something similar.
The creation of the department for advertising control would not only promote a bureaucratic increase for the advertising sector, but would also represent a huge regression for a Brazil that was fighting really hard to regain their rights for freedom of expression.
A Solution was Created
Facing this threat, a solution appeared: the self-regulation of the advertising sector, comprised in a code, which would have the task of ensuring the freedom of commercial expression and defend the interests of the parties involved in the advertising market, including the consumer.
The creation of the Code proved to be a success in Brasíliaand in the rest of Brazil. Within a few months, advertisers, agencies and commercial vehicles subordinated their commercial and creative interests to the Code in 1978. Right after Conar was founded, and since then, the institution worked with more than 7 thousand ethics trials and promoted many reconciliations with parties involved in a conflict.
The Ethics Council
Conar doesn’t accept any kind of censorship, nor does it exercise it. However, advertisements that violate the Code of Ethics of the institution are recommended to suspend their circulation in communication vehicles.
The Basic Points of the Publicity Ethics Code
- Every advertisement must be honest and truthful and respect the country’s laws.
- Every advertisement should be prepared based on a sense of social responsibility, avoiding to point out social differentiations.
- Every advertisement must respect the principle of fair competition.
- Every advertisement must respect the advertising activity and not disregard the public confidence in the services that advertising offers.
- The complaints are judged by the Conar Ethics Council, permitting the one responsible for the ad the full right of defense. If the complaint's merits are proven, Conar is responsible for recommending changes for the advertising or its suspension.
How the Council is Organized?
The Conar Ethics Council is divided into eight Boards headquartered in São Paulo, Rio, Brasília, Porto Alegre and Recife and its formed by 180 members recruited from advertising agents from of all areas, from representatives of civil society. All members of Conar work as volunteers.