Date set for self-regulation in Australian ad industry

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SYDNEY -- New self-regulatory bodies to monitor the advertising industry are likely to be in place by June, according to Australian Association of National Advertisers vice-president Robert Koltai, who has been consulting with the Advertising Federation of Australia, the Australian Consumers' Association, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Federal Bureau of Consumer Affairs.

An Australian Standards Board will be set up by the AANA to replace the old Australian Standards Council which was disbanded last December. It will deal with complaints based upon issues of taste and decency.

The way members will be appointed is still to be decided but they will come from a wide cross-section of the community to represent a broad range of views, said Koltai.

An Advertising Claims Board will also be created to deal with questions of truth, accuracy and legal matters. It will have a number of panels comprising legal representatives and relevant experts. Complaints will go to a particular panel according to the issues involved.

Koltai said the AANA would not impose sanctions against advertisers found in breach of the AANA's code of ethics as it was "not in the business of punishing advertisers". Instead, it was up to individual media organizations to take action, such as to pull the offending ad, after receiving the Australian Standards Council report.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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