The Advertising Principles of American Business (1965)


American Advertising Federation


CSEP Library

Date Approved: 

June 23, 1965

Other Versions: 

Disclaimer: Please note the codes in our collection might not necessarily be the most recent versions. Please contact the individual organizations or their websites to verify if a more recent or updated code of ethics is available. CSEP does not hold copyright on any of the codes of ethics in our collection. Any permission to use the codes must be sought from the individual organizations directly.

Advertising Code of American Business

  1. Truth.... Advertising shall tell the truth, and shall reveal significant facts, the concealment of which would mislead the public.

  2. Responsibility.... Advertising agencies and advertisers shall be willing to provide substantiation of claims made.

  3. Taste and Decency.... Advertising shall be free of statements, illustrations or implications which are offensive to good taste or public decency.

  4. Disparagement.... Advertising shall offer merchandise or service on its merits, and refrain from attacking competitors unfairly or disparaging their products, services or methods of doing business.

  5. Bait Advertising.... Advertising shall offer only merchandise or services which are readily available for purchase at the advertised price.

  6. Guarantees and Warranties.... Advertising of guarantees and warranties shall be explicit. Advertising of any guarantee or warranty shall clearly and conspicuously disclose its nature and extent, the manner in which the guarantor or warrantor will perform and the identity of the guarantor or warrantor.

  7. Price Claims.... Advertising shall avoid price or savings claims which are false or misleading, or which do not offer provable bargains or savings.

  8. Unprovable Claims.... Advertising shall avoid the use of exaggerated or unprovable claims.

  9. Testimonials.... Advertising containing testimonials shall be limited to those of competent witnesses who are reflecting a real and honest choice.

Developed and initially distributed by: the Advertising Federation of America; Advertising Association of the West; the Association of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.; and endorsed by the International Newspaper Advertising Executives, Inc., of which this Newspaper is a member.

June 23rd, 1965