The Benefits and Costs of Voluntary Codes of Practice

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 1 June 1982


Claims use of legislation and government regulations as a means of protecting consumers has been subject to considerable controversy in many countries over recent years. Examines the UK's efforts to encourage voluntary self‐regulation by business — the most important manifestation of this has been the adoption of codes of practice in numerous trades — a code of practice being a statement of desirable trading practices. Says that data for analysis here is based on monitoring studies and other reports produced by the Office of Fair Trading and Consumers' Association and also direct interviews with trade associations and companies, supplemented by a postal questionnaire survey. Further discusses the rationale and lists and examines the most likely criteria to be used. Concludes that, overall, codes of practice are likely to have been beneficial, this does not necessarily imply that they are the best means of attaining the consumer policy objectives they embody.



Pickering, J. and Cousins, D. (1982), "The Benefits and Costs of Voluntary Codes of Practice", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 31-45.

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Copyright © 1982, MCB UP Limited

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