Bureaucrats have been suffering in their jocks for the past couple of days after the Government announced plans to cut $1 billion off the public services bill. And one of the suggestions is for the Advertising Standards Authority to be folded in with the Press Council, the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Office of Film and Literature Classification.
Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority, John McClintock, sees it as an opportunity to highlight the value of the ASA as a model for robust self-regulation. And, because the government currently tips about $1.5 million into the Broadcasting Standards Authority, he also sees it as a chance to take some of that responsibility on, remove a layer of bureaucracy and save the government some cash.
“The ASA works hard to provide an efficient and effective system of advertising self-regulation, funded by industry with independent complaints and appeal boards,” he says. “If this model can be of assistance to a review of state agencies, then we are happy to share information on how it operates.”
The ASA has been operating a codes and complaints system for advertising for over 30 years and provides guidance for industry about code compliance along with a free complaints process for consumers (check out the top ten ads that ruffled feathers last year).
In 2010, the ASA received 1164 complaints about 792 advertisements and the Advertising Standards Complaints Board dealt with 380 of these, with 52 percent being upheld.