New Australian ad watchdog seeks industry levy

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SYDNEY -- The Australian Association of National Advertisers has asked members to pay 0.035% of their gross media billings to fund its new self- regulatory watchdog, the Advertising Standards Board, which is expected to begin functioning by the end of this year.

The levy is about twice the amount that funded the now defunct Advertising Standards Council. Australia has been without a complaints and regulatory body since the ASC was disbanded last December.

Robert Koltai, AANA vice-president, said the extra money was needed to gather more comprehensive data on complaints, for start-up costs and because "we can't assume 100% compliance".

Major advertisers including Procter & Gamble, Carlton & United Breweries, Colgate-Palmolive, Dairy Foods Group, Toyota and Telstra have already agreed to pay the levy, and big agencies such as George Patterson Bates, Clemenger BBDO, Zenith and AIS Media have agreed to collect it.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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