IDA Professional Ethics Principles

The Professional Ethics Principles of the Association of Communications Consultancy Companies is a document that serves as a guide to Association members.

The influential power and area of influence of the communications consultancy profession necessitates a document such as this, in whichimportant important ethical responsibilities are outlined.

The development of the communications consultancy profession and therefore the communications consultancy sector in Turkey, coupled with the increasingly growing number of consultants and consultancy companies has made it essential to once again highlight the professional ethics principles with a strong emphasis.

The members of the Association of Communications Consultancy Companies embrace the spirit of this document, contribute to its improvement and development and accept this document as one of the most important conditions of Association membership. Our members ensure that their employees embrace and adopt these principles.

A member company eliciting or knowingly allowing an employee to behave in a way that goes against these principles will be considered not to be fulfilling the professional ethics principles itself.

The Association of Communications Consultancy Companies will only investigate complaints/notifications related to a breach of principles made regarding its own members. Complaints/notifications of a breach of principles are evaluated by the Ethics Committee of the Association of Communications Consultancy Companies.

In order for member companies and their employees to correctly and fully comprehend these principles the Association’s Ethics Committee develops examples for breach of principles and best practices to share with its members.

The Association of Communications Consultancy Companies will warn, monitor and if need be expel any of its members that have been found to infringe the Professional Ethics Principles as per evidence presented to the Ethics Committee.

Professional Ethics Principles:

In order to protect the professional values of the communications consultancy profession and its reputation the members of the Association of Communications Consultancy Companies;

1) Will remain stuck to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when carrying out communications consultancy,

2) In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will in no way discriminate against sex, race, religion and physical disability or against subjects based on groundless references,

3) They will do nothing to overshadow their independent consultancy role; will not serve interests that will create suspicion regarding their independence and will not make connections nor accept roles of this nature,

4) They will accept the responsibility of their activities when fulfilling their role as independent consultancies,

5) They believe in freedom of expression and that all views have a right to be represented fairly. In this respect, they adhere to representing the views of the individuals, organisations and corporations they serve effectively,

6) In representing the individuals, organisations and corporations to which they provide their services, they will take into account all parties and the public interest,

7) When communicating with the public and relevant parties, they will make it a point to relay the correct information and in the event that they later discover the information they have communicated is not correct, will correct their mistakes with this revised information,

8) They will carry out their business activities in an open, transparent way which leaves no doubt that these are “communications consultancy activities”; they will state the identity of the individuals, corporations and organisations to which they provide their services, they will not share or relay information and documents from an undefined source,

9) They will provide their clients and potential clients with correct and complete information regarding their company, consultants, areas of specialisation and references,

10) When presenting the company’s abilities and services to a potential client they will not make an attempt, whether by their own initiative or the will of a client, to end an existing contract, nor will they try to win new business by defaming the name or abilities of a member consultancy which is still working with this client,

11) They will respect intellectual property rights; acquire the required approvals to use information and documents produced by other individuals, corporations and organisations within the scope of their activities and will identify to whom the quotes they use belong,

12) If they own any shares in the enterprises to which they offer their services, they will clearly state this and will not use the internal information they are privy to in their savings on these shares,

13) They will avoid actions, connections and work which could create a conflict between personal and professional interests,

14) In the event they have financial/commercial interests (partnership, shares) in any organisation offering specialised consultancy and/or third party services which they will recommend, they will openly state this to individuals, corporations or organisations receiving their services,

15) By virtue of their profession they cannot divulge private information regarding past or present clients,

16) They will work to explain the scope of communications consultancy services in a clear manner in order for it to be understood,

17) If any kind of work within the scope of their communications consultancy activities goes against the professional ethics principles, they will first, by warning the individual, organisation or corporation to which they offer their services, make an effort to comply with these principles. In the event that this kind of work is insisted upon, they will not accept this work regardless of the implications of the results for the company,

18) They will work to protect and strengthen the reputation of the communications consultancy profession.

In line with the observation and development of transparency in relations with the public and media;

1) They will accept the media and media organs as the organisations working to inform the public,

2) Given the position of individuals, organisations and corporations receiving their services as an advertiser, they will not associate this position with the publication of news articles relating to this individual, organisation or corporation and no such insinuation will be made to media organs,

3) In the service agreements with the individuals, organisations or corporations to which they offer their services, they will make no guarantee of the nature nor the number of news articles to be published by specific media organs,

4) The effectiveness of news articles published by media organs as a result of offered services cannot be measured with equivalent advertising value,

5) Within the scope of communications consultancy activities, they will not give presents nor carry out any kind of entertaining which may overshadow the evaluation of any materials relayed to media organs when determining whether they are newsworthy,

6) They will not offer money to media representatives in return for a news article. They will not support media organs’ offers for paid news article production which may be offered to them or their clients,

7) They will not make secret or private agreements with journalists, nor secretly reward journalists in order to have their material published,

8) Within the scope of communications consultancy activities, where required they may recommend the purchasing of advertising or advertorial space/time and for messages to be relayed in this manner. They will take the required measures to ensure that readers/audiences clearly understand that messages appearing in media organs in this manner are adverts, corporate advertising or advertorials,

In line with the creation and development of an environment of fair competition in the sector;

1) They will support the development of an environment of fair competition in the communications consultancy sector,

2) They will not form connections nor accept work that will unfairly affect the environment of fair competition in the communications consultancy sector,

3) Prior to replying to requests for proposals or received offers for communications consultancy services, they will investigate whether the individual, organisation or corporation making the request/offer has officially notified the communications consultancy company it is currently working with (if existing). If such a notification has not been made they will not partake in the request for proposal and/or make an offer.

In line with the duty towards their employees:

1) As part of the initiatives to equip the sector with qualified human resources, they will support the efforts of the academic world in this area,

2) They will protect the rights, legal rights and interests of their employees,

3) They will support the training and development of their employees directed at furthering their career plans.

This document has been prepared in accordance with the professional ethics principles and declarations adopted by the IPR, IPRA, CERP and ICCO. The Association of Communications Consultancy Companies embraces the aforementioned principles and declarations.