Advertising industry code of ethics due for review

Code that governs advertising has had to keep pace with changing face of marketing and content and is due for review

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) has opened up its advertising industry code of ethics for full review and industry consultation.

AANA CEO, John Broome said the association had evolved the definition of advertising in keeping with technological and other advances. These have changed the nature of commercial communication “to help ensure that the codes apply to new forms of marketing, such as user generated content on brand websites and influencer marketing on social media platforms", he said.

The overarching self-regulatory code is intended to ensure ads and other forms of marketing communication are legal, decent, honest and truthful and aligned with prevailing community standards. It covers all material the advertiser has a reasonable degree of control over and applies to all media and digital platforms.

“We now want to canvas opinions as to whether the codes have evolved sufficiently in their application to meet these new challenges," Broome said. "We also want to canvass whether the codes appropriately reflect contemporary community standards and concerns when it comes to matters such as the treatment of minors, the portrayal of genders, the use of sexual appeal and the treatment of different groups within our society."

To start the process, the AANA has released a discussion paper for stakeholders and to stimulate informed input to the review. 

The review comes after the recent appointment of Nestle Oceania’s director of ebusiness, strategy and marketing, Martin Brown, to chair the AANA, replacing Lion managing director of global markets, Matt Tapper. 

Other recent appointments to the AANA board include Google director of marketing, Aisling Finch; Westpac chief digital and marketing officer, Martine Jager; and Lion external relations and corporate communications director, Tegan Flanagan.

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