AANA flags self-regulation review and funding shake-up

Newly installed CEO warns against the rise of regulatory creep around advertising and calls for industry to participate in review

John Broome
John Broome

The AANA is embarking on a review of its self-regulatory system for the advertising industry as it strives to keep “draconian” measures from hindering the future prosperity of advertising, its chief says.

Speaking at the association’s Reset conference in Sydney this morning, the AANA’s newly installed CEO and former Unilever CMO, John Broome, warned against the rise of “regulatory creep” and put his support before a refreshed self-regulatory system.

To this end, he confirmed the AANA is embarking on a strategic review and system upgrade to overhaul its existing self-regulatory approach.

“We are moving into a world where society is increasingly focused on the negative,” he told attendees. “Politicians and regulators are responding to this. The environment is shifting from where people by and large trusted self-regulation, to one where no one trusting anyone, until compliance is proven.

“The best line of defence is a credited, self-regulatory system, trusted and respected by all stakeholders. As custodians of this system, it is incumbent on the AANA to protect and nurture this system.

“While I’m confident today our system is fit for purpose, we need to ensure it is fit for future purpose. This is my key priority as new CEO. We must act with momentum and purpose.”

Broome confirmed the AANA board last week approved the scope of a strategic review and system upgrade, anticipated to take 12-18 months to complete. He said the review will be guided by universal principles: Universal membership, universal participation and universal funding.

“Our plan is to evaluate and design out shortcomings of our current system and retain and build on what is working today,” he continued.  “This will deliver compliance, representation and credibility for all stakeholders.”  

The review will also see the AANA’s funding model rejigged, a move aimed at recognising the growing dominance of digital media and related players in today’s landscape.

“As more and more advertising shifts to digital media, have to ensure self-regulatory system is fairly shared by all advertisers,” Broome said.

“I am keen to make this an inclusive exercise. Your ability to grow your brand is directly proportioned to the commitment and support you show to this system, and to advertising responsibly and without the onset of draconian requirements. My offer to you is the AANA will lead the process and deliver an outcome. I ask you don’t leave it to the older guard, you step up and take part for the long-term sustainability of our industry.”

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