Two type of complaints may be submitted to the National Council for Self-regulation in case of a breach of:
1. Ethical Code - related to the content (misleading, offensive, inappropriate for children etc.) of an advertisement or any other form of commercial communiaction
2. Rules for Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) - related to targeted at selected internet users behavioural advertising. To learn about OBA and what you can do prior to submitting an OBA complaint, please click here.
А Complaint is a formal document, claim, plea or request, concerning any form of commercial communication which gives proof of breach of the ethical rules or indicates a possible breach that requires further investigation.
The registration of complaints is free of charge.
Every individual or legal entity or state organization can file a complaint.
NCSR independently can open a complaint procedure under its own initiative. In such a case, NCSR applies exactly the same procedure as for complaints from individuals or legal entities.
Complaints are accepted only in written or electronic form.
The complaints are sent via e-mail, fax, letter to the address of the NCSR Secretariat:
14 San Stefano Str., entr. B, Fl. 3 (BACA)
Electronic Complaints can be filed on-line on www.nss-bg.org
Each complaint should contain the following:
○ name of the applicant; trade registry identification/court registration details for legal
○ address (seat and management address) of the applicant-legal entity;
○ the content of the claim and the circumstances of the complaint. It should indicate detailed
and substantial arguments;
○ proof in support of the claim;
○ signature of the applicant or its authorised proxi;
Complaints that are not signed or are anonymous will not be proceeded.
Any complaint can be withdrawn at any time of the Adjudication Procedure.
Registration of complaint
When a complaint is posted, the Secretariat of NCSR checks its form and content and immediately files the complaint and notifies the applicant.
In case the Complaint does not satisfy the requirements of the Regulations for application of the Ethical Code, the applicant is requested to cure the irregularities in a 3-day period.
In case of an obvious inapplicability of the Code to the complaint, the Secretariat may refuse to file the complaint and to return it to the applicant respectively.
A second complaint, posted for a case that has already been adjudicated, is not proceeded, except if it relates to the execution of the decision or in case it is based on new facts and circumstances. The adjudication in such a case refers only to the new facts and circumstances.
Should the Code is applicable to the Complaint, the Secretariat opens a Procedure.
The complaints for breach of the Ethical code, for which a Procedure is started are subject of adjudication by the 13-member Ethical Committee, observing the principle of independence and lack of conflict of interest.
The complaints are handled not later than 1 month from the date of complaint registration. In case of a factual complexity, when the nature of case requires more time for collection of arguments from the defendant, the term may be prolonged once by the Ethics Committee, but with no more than one more month.
Main objective of the Ethics Committee is to analyse the commercial communication claimed to be in breach and to adjudicate the compliance to the Ethical Code.
Resolutions of the Ethical Committee
When the Ethics Committee establishes a breach of the Ethical Code, it takes a substantiated resolution the breach to be eliminated. In case no breach is found, the Complaint is not upheld.
Only in case new circumstances are available or in case of procedural omissions, both the claimant and the defendant have the right to appeal the adjudication of the Ethical Committee in front of the Appeal Committee.
The decision of the Appeal Committee is final and is no subject of further appeals.
One working day after the adjudication, the Secretariat notifies the applicant and the defendant and in one week sends a copy of the resolution and posts it in the NCSR website unless the sides have requested otherwise. When appropriate, a copy of the resolution is sent to relevant state authorities or public organisations. NCSR’s Board may decide to publish a bulletin, press release or other from of notification about the decision taken by the Ethical/Appeal Committee.
Enforcement of decisions
For NCSR members, the decisions of the Ethical/Appeal committees are binding. The terms for implementation is one week from the date of receipt, unless the decision itself requires other term.
For non-members of NCSR, the decisions of the Ethical/Appeal committees are not binding. In these cases, NCSR requires the offender to voluntarily discontinue the breach within the required term.
If no voluntary action is taken by the offender, NCSR notifies all its members, the relevant regulating bodies and NGOs, attaching the adjudication along with every collected proof for the breach.