Fair Advertising

A pdf version of the code can be downloaded here


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  • Advertisements shall not directly or indirectly disparage, ridicule, criticize, or attack any natural or juridical person, groups of persons, or any sector of society, especially on the basis of gender, social or economic class, religion, ethnicity, race, or nationality.
  • Maliciously ridiculing or denigrating religion, culture, customs, and traditions is prohibited.
  • References to minority groups should not be stereotypical, malicious, unkind, or hurtful.
  • References to religious or political beliefs should not be offensive, belittling or hurtful, and the use of religious themes should be treated with extreme care.
  • Those who have physical or sensory impairment, or intellectually-, or mentally-challenged persons should not be demeaned or ridiculed.
  • Advertisements should not directly or indirectly disparage, ridicule, or unfairly attack competitors or non-competitors, competing or non-competing products, or services, including distinguishing features or elements of their advertising campaigns such as, but are not limited to, specific layout, copy, slogan, visual presentation, music/ jingle, or sound effects and other elements.
  • Advertisements shall not make any presentation that brings advertising into disrepute both as a profession and as a business activity.
  • Use of humor to disparage another brand/product or service is not allowed.




  • A comparison of competitive products or services must provide clear, substantiated, and verifiable bases for any comparative claim favorable to the Advertiser.
  • An unqualified, sweeping, exclusivity, or superiority claim may be permitted only if proven to be true on all material respects in relation to all products or services whether competitive or non-competitive.
  • Indirect/ unbranded comparison advertising may be permitted provided it does not use features or elements that may be identified or directly associated with competitive brands such as, but are not limited to, symbols, slogans, titles, or statements.
  • Competitive claims inviting comparison with a group of products or with other product categories, without identifying any specific brand, may be allowed provided these are adequately substantiated.
  • Comparison must not be misleading, disparaging, or exaggerated.
  • Comparison versus previous formulation should be supported by technical data from laboratory tests/ clinical studies or consumer use tests following accepted research protocol.
  • Comparative claims, whether the comparison is with the marketer’s own previous process or product, or with those of a competitor, should be worded in such a way as to make it clear whether the advantage being claimed is absolute or relative.
  • Direct comparison advertising is allowed only in product categories that have clear, definite, and accepted technology benchmarks. In particular:
    • Product features/attributes being compared should be verifiable, measurable, and/or definable
    • Comparison must be quantitative rather than qualitative
  • Direct comparison is limited to products intended for the same purpose or belonging to the same class or category. Subjects of direct comparison must be clearly identified without violating Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Direct comparison advertising shall be allowed only in the following product categories:
    • Automotive vehicles excluding automotive products
    • Consumer durables (Appliances, Audio-visual Equipment, Electronic gadgets)
    • Airlines and Shipping Lines
    • Musical instruments, Entertainment devices/ equipment
    • Mobile products, e.g., cellular handsets, tablets, laptops, and netbooks
  • Parity claims are allowed provided they are properly qualified and substantiated.
    • No need to use qualifier “vs. NON-USE”. (ASC Circ. 2018-011)
  • Use of “vs. PREVIOUS FORMULATION”” is now allowed until change in product formulation is made. (ASC Circ. 2018-011)
  • Use of “SERVING SUGGESTION” as qualifier is now only required when a presentation of the product is shown with enhancements compared to the actual product such as, but not limited to: addition of vegetables when presenting instant noodles as prepared in a bowl, showing of packaged meat products with additional trimmings, etc. (ASC Circ. 2018-011)
  • Use of “CREATIVE VISUALIZATION” is no longer mandatory except when showing product action that is not obvious to the naked eye, such as, but not limited to, molecule or atom action of product ingredients. (ASC Circ. 2018-011)




  • “Before” and “After” situations must reflect truthful and factual comparisons. Comparisons of the “antecedent” situation with the “subsequent” situation must not be exaggerated or misleading.
  • Advertisements comparing “before” and “after” situations should cite with prominence the specific time elapsed between the two situations.



  • Words such as, but are not limited to, “new”, “improved”, “introducing”, which connote ‘new-ness’ or an ‘improvement’ of a product may be used in advertisements for a period of one (1) year only from the time the new or improved product/ service has been introduced in the market, excluding reasonable test market periods.
  • Where claimed improvement relates not to the product’s basic utility or function but to one of its other features, such as appearance, fragrance, color, or packaging, the word “new” or “improved” may be used only if clearly limited to the specific change, e.g., “new fresh fragrance” or “new packaging/bottle”.



Advertisements for any product whose brand name may suggest a different product, commodity, or product form or nature should contain a clear statement of the true nature of the product represented by that brand name, e.g., “Real Juice”, “True-Milk”, “Full Creamy Milk”.



Advertisements shall not violate established pre-emptive rights and shall not constitute plagiarism. 

Pre-emptive Rights to an advertising material are established by actual publication, installation, posting/upload, and/or airing anywhere in the world and not by approval of the storyboard/ script /layout.

For materials that have the same execution, ownership of the said execution shall be given to the material that was first aired, published, posted/uploaded or installed anywhere in the world.

The ruling on Pre-emptive Rights applies to all product categories, i.e., if it was established that Brand A has pre-emptive rights on a particular slogan, Brand B may not use the same slogan in its advertisement for any of its products.

 The prescription period for Pre-emptive Rights or use of general layout, copy, slogan, visual presentation, music, or sound effects are the following:

  • For non-competitive products or different product categories, two (2) years since last airing, local publication, installation or posting/upload of broadcast, print, out-of-home, or digital advertisement.
  • For competitive products or same product categories, five (5) years since last airing, local publication, installation or posting/upload of broadcast, print, out-of-home, or digital advertisement.
  • The prescription period for Pre-emptive Rights does not apply to copyrights, IPO-registered trademarks, and other non-advertising issues which are outside the scope of the ASC.


Please see Article IV Section 13 on the rendition of the mark in advertisements.


Plagiarism means an instance where a material is found substantially or materially imitating distinguishing features of other advertisements in any part of the world.

If an ad is proven to be plagiarizing another ad, a CDO shall be issued against it effective immediately. Additional sanctions, e.g., penalties shall be determined by the Tech Com.

The provision of Plagiarism overturns the ruling on Pre-emptive Rights, provided that the Complainant is able to present third party evidence of the original broadcast and/or publication, installation, posting/upload outside the Philippines. When relevant, the prescription period for Pre-emptive Rights applies, namely two (2) years for non-competitive products and five (5) years for competitive products.