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AANA to review operations and funding of Ad Standards Board

The Australian Association of National Advertisers has flagged it will alter the funding model of the Advertising Standards Board to better reflect the digital media environment.

The announcement from new CEO John Broome came at this morning’s AANA Reset conference, soon after he welcomed Facebook as a new member of the association.

Broome: AANA is entering its next chapter

The AANA administers the ASB, which is a self-regulating industry watchdog, via a levy on advertising in paid for traditional media.

“Our funding model will need to be looked at because as more advertising shifts to digital media, we need to ensure that the funding of the self-regulatory system is fairly shared by all advertisers,” Broome said.

Broome also flagged the AANA would undertake a more comprehensive strategic review as it looked towards “the next chapter”.

“I sense we are heading into a world where society is increasingly focused on the negative. Politicians and regulators are responding to this. The environment is shifting from where people by and large trusted self-regulation to one where nobody trusts anyone unless compliance is proven,” he said.

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

“I am confident that today our system is fit for purpose. But we also need to make sure it’s fit for future purpose. And this is my key priority as the new CEO that we must act with momentum and purpose.”

Broome said the review  – which will “evaluate and design out identified shortcomings of the current systems and retain and build on what clearly is working today” – will take 12 to 18 months to complete. It will be guided by “universal principles, universal membership, universal participation and universal funding to deliver compliance, representation and credibility for all stakeholders”, he said.

Advertisers in the room were urged to collaborate with the association and its review, to ensure draconian compliance requirements didn’t enter the system.

“In sharing this news with you today, we are keen to make this an inclusive and collaborative exercise. If you are a member, please participate. If you are not a member, please become one. Your ability too grow your brand is directly proportionate to the commitment you have and show for the system that supports your ability to advertise responsibly and without the onset of draconian compliance requirements,” he said.

Broome also paid tribute to his predecessor, Sunita Gloster who now works for Ten.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to Sunita. It’s wonderful to be taking up the leadership of an industry body that Sunita has worked so relentlessly and passionately to restore to its rightful position as Australia’s peak [advertisers’ association].”

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