- Offering, promising or paying a bribe;
- Requesting, agreeing to or receiving a bribe;
- Bribing a foreign public official with the intention to influence that person to retain or obtain business (an offence will be committed if a deal is done with someone other than the official, but it is at the official’s request or with the official’s knowledge); and
- A ‘corporate offence’ of failing to prevent bribery being carried out by an ‘associated person’, which is widely defined to include employees, agents and subsidiaries.
What the Bribery Act 2010 could mean for media and marketing businesses
Legislation set to hit the UK could see individuals put away for up to ten years if they are found guilty of offering what could be described in anyway as a ‘bribe’. In an industry that has long operated on a system of discounts, deals and corporate away days could agency bosses soon be enjoying a holiday at Her Majesty’s pleasure? The Drum finds out. If ever there was an industry for which the phrase ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ was invented then it is the media and marketing industry. However, new legislation set to come into effect soon, could possibly bring an end to media companies and marketing agencies doing deals that make them preferred business partners over other less well placed suppliers. According to one lawyer The Bribery Act 2010 “introduces a brave new world and the repercussions could be much wider than Parliament ever intended.” The Bribery Act 2010 may sound like more needless Labour legislation aimed at cutting down the number of bulky brown envelopes being passed between members of Tony Soprano’s crime family and union officials, but in fact the new laws aim to transform the rules by which legitimate businesses can seek to influence or curry favour with clients and customers. The new rules will not only strike at the stereotypical image of the cash in a brown envelope, but could also cover offering discounts on purchases or provision of overly generous corporate hospitality aimed at securing a business contract. WORLD BANK So, why has this legislation come into force now and is it really such a huge issue? Well, the World Bank clearly thinks that bribery is an issue. It recently estimated that there was $1 trillion worth of bribes being offered and received every year worldwide. So, what the hell is this new act all about? In simplest terms, the Act introduces four new categories of offence, and remember where it says ‘bribe’ it no longer simply refers to brown envelopes stuffed with dosh. The four categories are: