AANA and ASB announce plans to merge

By AdNews | 14 May 2018

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) and the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) have announced plans to amalgamate after an examination of structural options to achieve better governance oversight.

On 2 May, at a joint board meeting of the AANA and ASB, the unanimous decision was taken to combine the two.

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.

“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’s chair Matt Tapper says.

The AANA 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," Tapper says.

“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."

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