Today marks the start of the Queensland Government’s inquiry into the effectiveness of the out-of-home (OOH) media industry’s self regulatory system.
Public hearings will kick of Queensland’s probe which will examine if new laws and classifications are needed to crack down on sexually explicit material on billboards.
Charmaine Moldrich, chief executive of the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), said introducing new legislation would be costly and not necessary given the industry’s performance history.
“In 2012, 99.99 per cent of the outdoor advertisements that ran in Queensland were deemed compliant,” Moldrich said in a release.
“This proven track record demonstrates the outdoor advertising industry can be relied upon to comply with self-regulatory systems, and it is this current record that we’d like this Inquiry to focus on.”
The OMA wants to see the self-regulatory system maintained and says new legislative regulation will put Queensland out of step with other states.
“The impact of a legislative framework, like a classification system, would be minimal as the industry is already achieving a near-perfect record, especially given the significant resourcing requirements a system like this requires,” Moldrich said.
“Introducing this kind of red tape would prove costly for the government, taxpayers, and the many small businesses that use and work within the outdoor advertising industry.”
The OMA branded the investigation “redundant” when it was announced in April, pointing to the fact that less than 5% of the 3,640 complaints submitted across all media to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) related to OOH.
“There was no nation-wide complaints, in the area of sex, sexuality and nudity upheld against OMA members in 2012,” Moldrich said in April.
The inquiry was announced by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie reportedly following a petition from the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) which sported more than 1,300 signatures.
In 2011 the ACL caused headaches for OOH companies in Queensland when it launched what Adshel labeled a “coordinated campaign” against billboard companies displaying a safe-sex ad featuring a homosexual company, called ‘Rip and Roll’ (pictured).