The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) confirmed today that the boards of the AANA and the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) will merge.
At the AANA’s annual general meeting in November, a single board made up of the AANA’s advertiser members, the wider advertising ecosystem and the community will be elected.
The AANA’s chair, Matt Tapper (main photo), said, “These changes will reduce complexity and cost and, most importantly, will have no impact whatsoever on the independence and transparency of Ad Standards complaints and adjudication processes, which will continue to be administered independently of the AANA secretariat, by its own chief executive and staff.”
The AANA, which set-up the current self-regulatory system in 1998, said this was the first stage in a series of moves to “future proof” the self-regulatory system. It now intends to embark on formal consultations with industry participants to evolve the self-regulatory funding system to meet its future needs. These discussions will involve the AANA’s advertising members, the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) and media and digital platform providers.
“Advertisers supporting the self-regulatory system voluntarily pay a small levy on their media spend which is collected on their behalf by MFA media agencies. This levy funds the independent adjudication system. To date, this mechanism has served us very well.
“However, the increasing migration of advertising to the digital space has led to more advertising content and hence increased the workload and operating costs of Ad Standards. At the same time, there is a growing trend for advertisers to pay major publishers and digital platforms directly and that has the potential to significantly lessen the funding for self-regulation through the current collection mechanism.
“This is a global challenge, so the AANA will also actively engage with its counterparts overseas to help develop alternative funding models. This is a long-term project but given the future media landscape it is only sensible to commence formal discussions now,” Tapper said.