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EVENT MARKETING: The implications of the Bribery Act for marketers

Author: Claire Weekes

The Bribery Act will soon become part of UK law and businesses will need to watch their backs when it comes to corporate hospitality and gift giving. Claire Weekes investigates the implications for marketers

On 31 January 2011 the Ministry of Justice announced a delay “pending further review” to the introduction of the much anticipated Bribery Act, which was due to come into force in April 2011. News of the delay has been met with a mixture of relief and frustration, particularly among companies who have worked hard to look into the implications of the Act on corporate life. The question coming up time and again in marketing circles is what impact the Act might have on the future of corporate hospitality and gift giving – both common practices in B2B marketing.

The origins of the new Act
Rushed into law as part of the wash-up conducted by Labour just before the 2010 election, the Bribery Act is – on the whole – Britain’s part in adhering to the rules of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Convention, which it signed up to in 1997. All 38 countries that signed up are required to put in place legislation that criminalises the act of bribing a foreign public official.