OMA rejects government regulation of outdoor advertising

Outdoor Media Association CMYKThe Outdoor Media Association is opposing government regulation of outdoor advertising saying the recommendations made to the Queensland government based on the Inquiry into sexually explicit outdoor advertising “will have serious implications for advertisers”.

The report recommends ads featuring adult themes be reviewed by the Advertising Standards Bureau automatically, all outdoor ads to carry information of how people can lodge a complaint and a review board to assess complaints and refer any breaches of a code of ethics to the Attorney General in Queensland, who can decide on any fines to apply.

The OMA has acknowledged the release of the Health and Community Service Committee’s report from the Inquiry, however have said “the recommendations are inconsistent with the tone and substance of the findings of the committee”.

Advertising bodies had urged the inquiry to reject a push for greater regulation of outdoor advertising over concerns from Christian groups in the state, about what they argue is the “sexually explicit” nature of some outdoor content.

The Australian Christian Lobby argued outdoor advertising should be regulated under a classification system similar to what is used on commercial television.

The proposal of co-regulation has also been labelled as an “unnecessary cost” by Fiona Jolly, CEO of the Advertising Standards Bureau.

In a statement she said: “The current system of complaints resolution is at no cost to individuals, community or government, and the advertising self-regulation system meets international best practice. The ASB supports the self-regulation system and its partners the AANA and OMA and believes that co- regulation as proposed is an unnecessary cost to the community, industry and government.”

According to the OMA, the recommendations “deliver a heavy handed approach for an industry that boasts a near perfect compliance record in the current self-regulatory system” and if they are taken up by the Qld Government “they will have serious implications for advertisers and the outdoor media industry in Queensland and nationally”.

The association also says they “directly contravene” the Newman government’s election promise “to decrease red tape for business”.

OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich said in a statement: “For an industry that in Queensland is made up primarily of small businesses I am concerned about the impact the increased red tape will have on our members and advertiser.

“We will make an informed comment when we have fully realised the implications of the recommendations as they are likely to be far reaching and heavily impact on business.”



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