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AANA and Ad Standards to merge boards

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) and Ad Standards Bureau (ASB) have announced plans to merge their boards to create one single board made up of AANA members, Ad Standards members and the wider community.

Following a joint board meeting on May 2, the two organisations resolved to elect a new board at the AANA’s annual general meeting in November aimed to deliver a more efficient ASB operation and having better governance and oversight of operations.

As part of the new board, the AANA will conduct formal consultations with the AANA’s advertising members, the Media Federation of Australia and media and digital platform providers.

The new board is the first of a series of changes the AANA will make to “future proof” the self-regulatory system.

Mumbrella understands the new board will have no impact on the independence and transparency of Ad Standards complaints and its adjudication processes, these will continue to be administered by its own chief executive and staff independent of the AANA.

Matt Tapper, chair of the AANA, said the changes will cut cost and simplify the Ad Standards process.

“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 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.”

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