IAB SA Code of Conduct

The IAB South Africa is not a regulatory body, but a member-driven voluntary association seeking to grow the digital industry.

To download the Professional Code of Conduct as a PDF document, click here: IAB SA Code of Conduct – February 2014.

Table of Contents

14. References


This Code sets out the standards of professional practice and professional conduct governing the Members of the IAB South Africa. The purpose of this Code is to enable the self-regulation of Members of the IAB South Africa in the public interest. This Code is binding on all Members and compliance with this Code is a condition of membership.


The IAB South Africa (formerly DMMA), is an independent body and voluntary association aimed at building trust in the digital medium as a viable and lucrative platform for South African advertisers to reach and engage with their target audiences and increasing the share of advertising, sponsorship and marketing spend which is directed at the South African digital industry; and ensuring a sustainable and vibrant digital industry in South Africa.

The IAB South Africa’s mission is to provide a non-profit forum:
1. in which South African Publishers and Agencies (development, creative and media) pursuing digital strategies can address issues of common interest; and
2. which can facilitate engagement, interaction, learning and commerce between all member groups, focused on growing the South African digital industry
3. which can represent the South African Digital Industry before the marketing community, the press, government and the public.
4. be the body through which international players can enter SA market

In order for the IAB South Africa to successfully pursue its mission and purpose, the association will:
1. stay up-to-date on global digital media and marketing trends so as to develop an understanding of how the South African industry will change as it matures
2. formulate, implement and continually evolve a strategy to educate the South African marketing and advertising community about the benefits of digital marketing and advertising;
3. enable the South African digital industry with a single, credible audience measurement and tracking product to act as a planning tool for advertising and media agencies, and as an information source for the marketing community;
4. endorse the highest standards in digital publishing, development, creative, and media planning with respect to quality and integrity, credibility and accountability;
5. where relevant, develop and promote standards across all aspects of the South African digital media and marketing industry;
6. help digital publishers, creative, media and development agencies to drive revenue through providing relevant and effective digital marketing channels, solutions and services to the South African marketplace;
7. engage positively with all related bodies in order to further the interests of a sustainable digital media and marketing industry in South Africa.


Unless otherwise indicated by the context, the terms below shall have the following meaning throughout this document:

3.1 “Adex” means the Advertising revenue reports submitted to Nielsen South Africa;
3.2 “advertisement” means any visual or aural communication, representation, reference or notification of any kind – which is intended to promote the sale, leasing or use of any goods or services; or which appeals for or promotes the support of any cause. Promotional content of display material, menus, labels, and packaging also fall within the definition. Editorial material is not an advertisement, unless it is editorial for which consideration has been given or received. “Advertisement” applies to published advertising wherever it may appear. It does not apply to editorial or programming publicity. “Advertising” shall have a corresponding meaning;
3.3 “AGM” means Annual General Meeting;
3.4 “Agency” Development, creative and media agencies pursuing digital strategies
3.5 “Committee” means specific Members, duly authorised representatives of Members or volunteers appointed to a committee convened at the annual AGM to work on a specific task/project related to the functions of the IAB South Africa as and when required;
3.6 “Exco” means the then standing Executive (management) Committee as elected at the annual AGM;
3.7 “ECT Act” means the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (South Africa);
3.8 “Full Member” means a person deemed by Exco to be an operating Online Publisher, who has implemented the Nielsen Code on their Web Site, pays membership fees calculated in accordance with their revenue and the fees payable to Nielson South Africa calculated in accordance with their Web Site traffic; and has the right to attend and vote at all meetings of Members; Also a creative, media or development agency pursuing digital business who pays membership fees to IAB South Africa.
3.9 “Member” means a person deemed to qualify for Membership, for the avoidance of doubt the definition of member and membership in the context of this document shall not refer to the officials of the IAB South Africa who founded or govern the IAB South Africa;
3.10 “Measurement data” means data supplied by a third party supplier (Effective Measure) to the IAB South Africa via a tag placed on Member Web Sites;
3.11 “Online Publisher” means a person (natural or juristic) whether South African owned or otherwise that meets either of both of the following criteria:
3.11.1 Has a dedicated localised Website for the South African market (eg. http://za.yoursite.com) where all pages are tagged; and/or
3.11.2 Has the ability to tag South African-only traffic with the IAB South Africa’s analytics tags.
3.12 “IAB South Africa” means the IAB South Africa;
3.13 “IAB South Africa web site” means the Internet web site of the IAB South Africa located atwww.iabsa.net;
3.14 “Person” means a natural or juristic person;
3.15 “Personal information” means information identifying a natural person; and
3.16 “Secretariat” means the person(s) employed by the I AB South Africa in respect of the administration including the receipt of complaints and grievances related to this Code.

This Code must be interpreted in line with the Constitution of the IAB South Africa and the terms thereof shall be read as if specifically incorporated herein.


The IAB South Africa shall from time to time review this Code revise this Code and amend provisions of this Code. Any such amendment shall become binding on the Members on the date of publication on the DMMAIAB South Africa web site.


The Members of IAB South Africa, Board, Secretariat, Council, Committees and/or Independent Adjudicators shall not be held liable for any consequences that may arise from the implementation of this Code or for the failure to implement the Code. This Code does not constitute legal advice nor is it warranted as legal advice. All Members are urged to seek proper legal advice in respect of the legality of their services or operations.


6.1 Members shall at all times:

6.1.1 comply with all applicable legislation and judicial decisions that impact their business;
6.1.2 conduct their business professionally, fairly, responsibly and with integrity;
6.1.3 respect the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression;
6.1.4 not promote the use of hate speech or defamation;
6.1.5 respect the intellectual property rights of the persons to whom Members render services;
6.1.6 not infringe the intellectual property rights of customers or any third parties;
6.1.7 take reasonable measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful access to, interception of, or interference with data as contained in the ECT Act;
6.1.8 not misrepresent themselves and ensure transparency in their dealings with their customers (prospective or current); and
6.1.9 only sell or offer for sale services and commercial media assets which the Member is lawfully entitled to sell.
6.2 Members shall provide adequate training to their personnel to bring this Code and the provisions of it to the attention of their personnel and requiring that personnel comply with this Code.
6.3 In dealings with other members and customers, Members shall act fairly, reasonably, professionally and in good faith.


7.1 Content Governance
7.1.1 A Member shall not intentionally or knowingly publish content that: contains a visual presentation of explicit violent sexual conduct, bestiality, incest or rape or extreme violence which constitutes incitement to cause harm; results in any unreasonable invasion of privacy; encourages or incites any person to engage in dangerous practices or to use harmful substances; induces or promotes racial disharmony; causes grave or widespread offence; degrades, defames or demeans any person; and/or is illegal or unlawful, where a Member becomes aware of illegal content under the Member’s control the Member must suspend access to such content and where required to do so, report the illegal content to the relevant enforcement authority.

7.2 Advertising, Measurement & Reporting
7.2.1 All advertising performance reporting of Members shall be substantiated by an industry accepted third party. Members shall submit Adex calculations to PwC South Africa directly in accordance with the principle of transparency of Online Publishers. Failure to do so being considered a breach of this Code of professional conduct. Should there be any query pertaining to the validity or accuracy of such performance then such validity or accuracy may be referred to an independent authority for determination.
7.2.2 Members shall implement measurement tools approved by the IAB South Africa; adhere to the guidelines of the service provider of the relevant measurement tool in compiling measurement data; and publicly report the measurement data arising.
7.2.3 In dealings with advertisers, Members shall act honestly and in good faith, providing reliable advertising information regarding the placing of ads and upon completion of campaigns, be able to verify data pertaining to the placing and effectiveness of ads.
7.2.4 Members shall comply with all compulsory advertising standards and regulations ensuring that all advertising is both current and falls within the guidelines of the ASA and ISPA where relevant any form of out bound communication or advertising via e-mail or SMS should take cognisance of ISPA guidelines relating to such communication.

7.3 Privacy
7.3.1 Members shall respect a customer’s constitutional right of privacy and privacy of communications (in the case of natural persons).
7.3.2 Members shall respect the confidentiality of customer’s personal information and will not sell or distribute such information to any other party without the explicit consent of the customer, except where required to do so by law.
7.3.3 Members shall make reasonable efforts to ensure, whether in-house or via third parties, that their Web Site is secure, in order to ensure that customer’s private and personal information is secure.


8.1 Members shall abide by the consumer protection provisions of the ECT Act including the publication of specific information such as contact details on their web site(s).
8.2 Members shall make this Code available to their customers in order to ensure that customers are aware of Members obligations hereunder.
8.3 Contracts between Members and customers shall not contain any clauses that are in conflict with the provisions of this Code.
8.4 Pricing information for Member services must be clearly and accurately conveyed to customers (prospective and current).
8.5 Members shall ensure that all advertising and promotional documentation are fair and reasonable and do not contain misleading information.
8.6 Members shall establish a complaints procedure allowing customers to lodge grievances or complaints with Members services. Members must acknowledge receipt of complaints expeditiously and respond to any complaints within a reasonable amount of time.
8.7 Member web sites must include a reference to their IAB south Africa Membership, a prominent copy of the IAB South Africa Member Mark(s) containing a hyperlink to this Code onthe IAB South Africa web site.


9.1 Any person may lodge a complaint against any Member who, in the view of the complainant, has acted contrary to the provisions of this Code.
9.2 The complaint must be lodged with the IAB South Africa Secretariat using the contact information published on the IAB South Africa web site. Responsibility for establishing receipt by the IBA South Africa of a complaint lies with the complainant.
9.3 A complaint should contain the following information:

9.3.1 The name of the Member against whom the complaint is being made, or if the identity of the Member is not known, other identifying information;
9.3.2 The full name, address and contact details of the complainant;
9.3.3 To the extent that the information is known or available, identification of the part or parts of this Code which has been allegedly breached; and
9.3.4 A detailed description of the actions (or inactions) that resulted in the alleged breach of this Code.
9.4 A complaint that does not contain the above information may be referred back to the complainant by the Secretariat, together with a request to provide further information.
9.5 The Secretariat may initiate a complaint against the Member should it become aware of an apparent breach of the Code.
9.6 Where the complainant has lodged a complaint or dispute: a clear process as set out below will be followed:

9.6.1 The Exco will inform the Chief Executive (or similar official of the Member) of the complaint; the corrective measures that should be followed and time period permitted for implementation of the corrective measures.
9.6.2 Where the Exco in its discretion is satisfied that the Member has adequately addressed the complaint, then the complaint shall be considered closed and no further action taken.
9.6.3 Where the Exco in its discretion is not satisfied that the complaint has been satisfactorily resolved, then the following procedure will be used to handle the complaint further: Exco or its designee shall carefully review the complaint; any response the Member has made to the complaint; the Code; any other relevant material and on the basis thereof make a determination as to whether there has been a breach of the Code. In the case of a breach referred to in above, the Exco shall further determine and apply one or more of the following sanctions: Suspension of the Member for a defined period or until such time that a Member can demonstrate to the Exco’s satisfaction that the breach has been remedied or corrective measures have been undertaken; Expulsion of the Member from IAB South Africa; Requirement for the Member to immediately remove all reference to the IAB South Africa from the Member’s documentation (electronic or otherwise) including the web site; and cease use of the IAB South Africa Member Mark(s).
9.6.4 A suspension will last a period of six months after which the Member may re-apply for membership of the IAB South Africa. Any monies paid in advance for the period of the suspension will refunded to the suspended member.
9.6.5 For the avoidance of doubt, the Exco determination under and shall be subject to a unanimous vote by the entire Exco Committee.
9.7 On receipt of a determination of the Exco, a Member shall have five (5) business days to notify the Secretariat should it wish to appeal the decision of Exco. An extension of this time may be awarded to a Member at the discretion of the Secretariat. Unless otherwise specified in Exco’s report, any sanctions will be considered suspended where an appeal is lodged, until the appeal process is completed. The appeal will be referred to the DMMA’s appointed adjudicators, who will appoint an independent adjudicator on the matter. The decision of the adjudicator will be deemed binding to both parties.
9.8 The Secretariat will maintain a record of any complaints and (resolved or unresolved) and sanctions in respect of complaints received and handled by the DMMA.


10.1.1 Certain IAB South Africa material/ documentation may be marked “Confidential” or “Proprietary.” In that event, you agree to maintain the confidentiality of such content and not disclose or make it available to any unauthorised third parties.


11.1 The IAB South Africa is the owner of the Marks (as hereinafter defined) and desires to allow the Member to utilise the Marks only in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth herein. “Marks” shall include the name “IAB South Africa”, the collective mark pertaining to members.
11.2 IAB South Africa grants each paid up Member the non-exclusive, revocable right to use the Marks on Member’s presentations, web site, correspondence, business cards and other documents or media, sole for the purpose of identifying itself as a member of IAB South Africa.  Members shall not use the IAB South Africa Marks for any other purpose.
11.3 Any reference by a Member to IAB South Africa’s web site shall include a link to such web site and any reference by Members to statistics, reports or other materials produced and/or owned by IAB South Africa shall include a reference to any and all of IAB South Africa’s copyright or other ownership interest in the same.
11.4 Members shall not have the right to sublicense, authorise or enter into agreements with other persons, firms, entities or corporations granting to them or any of them the right to  use the Marks or any other property owned by IAB South Africa.
11.5 Unless terminated as provided below, Member’s right to use the Marks in accordance herewith shall terminate upon termination of the Member’s membership in IAB South Africa for whatever reason.
11.6 Member’s right to use the Marks in accordance herewith may be terminated or suspended by IAB South Africa in the event IAB South Africa determines, in its sole and absolute discretion, that the Member has failed to comply with this Code as per clause 9 above.
11.7 In the event of termination or suspension, the Member shall discontinue use of the Marks within three (3) days of the date of such termination of receipt of a notice to such effect.
11.8 Members shall maintain the highest industry standards with respect to the use of the Marks.
11.9 Further, Members shall use the Marks in accordance with the specifications, directions  and processes furnished to each Member by IAB South Africa from time to time. Members shall have ten (10) days from the date of notice of any such changes in order to comply with such changes.
11.10 Upon twenty-four (24) hour notice, Members shall permit duly authorised representatives of IAB South Africa to inspect any use of the Marks by the Member.
11.11 Members acknowledge and agree that IAB South Africa is the sole owner of the Marks and Members are estopped to claim any ownership rights in the Marks or otherwise use any trademarks  or service marks that are the same or similar to the Marks.
11.12 In the event that the Member becomes aware of (i) any use by third parties that infringes on the Marks, or (ii) any claims by third parties against Member’s use of the Marks, the Member shall notify IAB South Africa of such infringement, claim, suit or demand.
11.13 Members agree to defend, indemnify and hold IAB South Africa, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, harmless against all losses, damages or  expenses of whatever form or nature, including reasonable attorney’s fees and other costs of legal defence, whether direct or indirect, which they, or any of them, may sustain or  incur as a result of a Member’s use of the Marks.
11.14 If any legal action is initiated by either Member or IAB South Africa related to the Member’s use of the Marks, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover from the other party reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees in addition to any other relief that may be awarded.


If any part of this Code shall be held or declared to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be ineffective but shall not affect any other part of this Code.


The failure of IAB South Africa to partially or fully exercise any rights or the waiver of IAB South Africa of any breach of this Code, shall not prevent a subsequent exercise of such right by IAB South Africa or be deemed a waiver by IAB South Africa of any subsequent breach by a Member of the same or any other term of this Code.


The WASPA Code of Conduct, developed by the Wireless Application Service Providers Association of South Africa
The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa, Code of Practice and Procedural Guide