According to Ninth Principle of the Georgian Charter of
Journalistic Ethics, editorial content should be strictly separated
from marketing, advertising, and sponsored materials. The main goal
of the principle is to prevent media from misleading the audience –
from providing information as verified and confirmed while it is
published in exchange for a certain fee. According to the Charter's
practice, media outlets shall be responsible for all information
that is spread through their platforms. Therefore, if a commercial
content is published as an editorial material without a proper
marking, the editorial office shall be responsible for the
contents. The media is accountable to the audience and should
respect the right of the public to receive accurate information
rather than misleading and unverified advertising content.
Basically, all types of media outlets allocate advertising time and
place – banners or commercials are entirely different from a
journalistic material in terms of form and contents, therefore, it
is less likely that anyone will perceive them as editorial
material. In contrast, problematic is the material that does not
differ from journalistic content, for example, it has the form of
an article or footage is prepared, etc. At such time the audience
may easily believe that the information provided with no proper
labeling has been checked by the editor, for example, a product is
really the best.
Consequently, instead of using confusing symbols, it is important
to indicate that the material is an advertisement.
• Media organizations must ensure editorial independence from
commercial influence. The influence means changing the airtime or
publication timeframes, idea, a footage storyline, respondents,
presenter’s behaviour, shooting angle, location or other key
details as desired by the customer.
• It should be clear to the public that they are receiving
information of commercial content.
• Any material prepared and published as commercial content must be
strictly distinct from the editorial material. It must be
accompanied by a proper labeling in an easily detectable place and
• Any material without a relevant marking shall be considered as a
content of the editorial responsibility.
• The editorial office should have in place a policy for
distinguishing between advertising and editorial content, which
must become the basis of signing agreements with advertisers or
service purchasers. In addition, advertising and editorial
departments should be clearly separated.
• When promoting commercial content within the scope of any
advertising agreement, no further editorial support should be
provided for a company or a product.
It is a common practice to publish content in the form of an
article that is paid for commercially, which can misinform readers
because of the lack of an appropriate marking.
• Contents developed in online and printed media based on an
agreement should be accompanied by an indication of funding in an
easy-to-read place and manner. The labels such as "Partner
Content", NS, R, "Associate’s Material", etc. are confusing to the
reader. It is better to apply the labeling like
"Advertising"/"Commercial Article", "Advertising Page". It is not
recommended to indicate on the last page of a newspaper or a
website that certain pages / columns are funded. The marking must
be added to an article itself.
• The editorial office should be transparency-oriented. If it is
impossible to identify a customer in a commercial content, the
editor should clearly indicate the client.
• If the content provided by the customer contains specific
accusations against another person, or it is obvious that the
purpose of the content is to discredit a person, the editorial
office must make a decision on the publication of such content
based on their editorial policy.
• As for broadcasters, advertising a product or a service in a news
programme is both unethical as well as illegal. A part of the
international media has such restrictions regarding the programmes
that provide the public with news about business and economics.
• When placing an advertising content or footage, or selling the
airtime in a programme that is not a news programme, the
broadcaster must inform the audience that the material is
commercial. Subtitling can be used for this purpose.
Product placement is the inclusion of a product within a programme
for a commercial purpose, for example, placing a banner, using
branded items, etc.
• According to the legislation, product placement is allowed only
in feature films, television films, soap-operas, film episodes
(except for documentaries), sports and entertainment programmes
(except for children's programmes), lotteries, gambling games,
goods/services provision as a prize free of charge or without
• In such programmes products can be placed, but under relevant
rules - it is impermissible to promote a product and its advantages
and encourage public to purchase it. No specific address, product
price, discount, slogan or other details should not be indicated,
as they are a part of advertisement. • It is prohibited to place
medicines and medications that are issued under prescription.
• It is not permitted a presenter to persuade viewers to purchase a
product by referring to his/her own experience, for example, "I've
been using this shampoo for a month and I'm excited by the result,"
"I advise you to buy this juice. My daughter starts her morning
with it. It’s a completely natural product. "
• A positive assessment provided by a presenter or encouraging
viewers to buy the product is particularly unacceptable and
unethical when it comes to health. The presenter’s persuasive
promotion of medications, self-care products, nutrition, and other
products may lead to deplorable consequences.
Sponsorship is a direct or indirect funding or co-financing of the
preparation of a programme or a live broadcasting of a programme
with a view to promoting a sponsor’s name, trademark, image, and
activities. Sponsorship should be strictly distinct from
advertising because it directly funds particular media content.
• Similarly to product placement, the sponsor must not distort
contents of the funded material.
• Sponsorship of information-political programmes must be
prohibited, as well as of those which are related to consumer
rights, electoral campaigns.
• The audience should clearly identify the sponsor by means of
his/her name, commodity or other identifying marking at the
beginning, in the course and / or at the end of the programme.
• Sponsorship must not include the invitation to purchase a product
or a service.
• Content and rubrics that provide reviews or advice on various
products and companies cannot be sponsored by organizations whose
products or services are likely to be reviewed.
journalists in advertising
• With the view to ensuring impartiality, a journalist or a
presenter of news programmes, public-political and pre-election
debates may not be permitted to participate in advertising or
• The same standard must be applied to commercials disseminated by
broadcasting or other media platforms.