1 Our commitment to integrity
Country & Town House is a trusted and respected media brand, committed to providing journalism of the highest quality and integrity. As such we have obligations to our readers, viewers and the wider public, but also to our advertisers, suppliers and partners.
Our brand and our values are our most vital assets. Their maintenance depends on our commitment to the core journalistic values of accuracy and fairness.
Our ability to provide high quality journalism depends on commercial success. In a fast-changing media world, we must innovate to achieve that success, while at all times ensuring we preserve editorial independence.
These guiding principles outline standards of good practice which are to be observed and maintained by all employees, contractors and freelancers who provide services to the Company.
They will form an ongoing part of training for all staff.
2 Observing industry Codes
C&TH staff must be familiar with and observe all relevant industry Codes.
The Editors’ Code of Practice administered by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) stipulates that the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information.
The Advertising Code administered by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP Code) and enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority, lays down rules for advertisers, agencies and media owners to follow. Under the Code advertising must be responsible, and not mislead, harm or offend its audience. Particular rules cover advertising to children and specific sectors such as alcohol, gambling, motoring, health and financial products.
The Content and Native Disclosure Guidelines issued by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) set out principles of best practice to promote continued growth in innovative areas of advertising.
Ensuring a clear distinction between editorial and commercial activities
It is entirely appropriate, and indeed essential, that editorial staff understand and contribute to the commercial success of C&TH. However, editorial independence is integral to the company’s values and the final decision on all editorial content is the Editor’s.
Any commercially paid content beyond traditional advertisements must be clearly and appropriately marked.
It is perfectly proper for journalists to write content that is paid for commercially, provided that it is clearly marked as such. In undertaking such tasks, journalists should do nothing to compromise their ability to write for our audience objectively, fairly and honestly.
Uses of social media to promote a company’s product or services must be clearly marked as commercial content and must comply with the CAP Code and TMG protocols.
4 Marketing & Market Research
So that our online marketing is conducted ethically we will:
We will not engage in:
To ensure that our advertising is conducted ethically we will not use deceptive or misleading advertising. This includes:
Untruthful advertising which makes claims about the product that are untrue;
Exaggerated claims that are difficult to assess objectively;
Misleading comparative advertising
6 B Lab’s Risk Standards Position on Companies Serving Clients in Controversial Industries
B Lab has implemented a rigorous risk review procedure for companies that provides products or services to clients operating in controversial industries. When a company serves clients in controversial industries, the company provides products or services to another company in a controversial industry. Although the company may not be directly involved in the controversial activities, by serving clients in the controversial industry, they have the potential to contribute to the negative impact of the controversial industry. Therefore, B Lab’s Risk Review Committee reviews the practices of such companies to manage potential risks.
B Lab has comprehensively identified industries that are deemed controversial and has classified them as “Disclosure Industries” in the Disclosure Questionnaire category in the BIA. Furthermore, B Lab has established industry standards for additional sectors that are also considered to be controversial. See below the full list of industries considered controversial by B Lab:
With the exception of the alcoholic drinks sector, C&TH will not serve clients operating in any of the above industries without first conducting a full assessment of the potential impact of the relationship between the company and the client on reducing/increasing the negative aspects of the industry.