Sexually-skewed outdoor ads to be scrutinised under new OMA review policy

Outdoor ads with a sexual nature or those which contain nudity will come under close scrutiny as part of the Outdoor Media Association’s (OMA) review of the current self-regulation system.

Charmaine Moldrich, CEO of the Outdoor Media Association, told Mumbrella out of the 30,000 outdoor ads which were posted last year, the seven that were upheld were of a sexual nature.  

She said under a new Concept Advisory Service, members will be able to submit their ideas before production for assessment by the OMA. “It’s best to run the idea first because it wastes advertisers’ time and a lot of money if it gets rejected once it gets to us.”

Moldrich said, however, that the OMA’s decision is final. “If you submit an ad that you think is going to breach, once we’ve given our opinion then that’s the final say,” she said.

She added: “Advertisers have to follow the same code that we do and so do the creatives. We get the ads at the end of the line. And when we post them, we get the media attention. It also becomes very sensitive when we go to an advertiser and say, ‘You can’t run that ad’.”

As part of the review, the OMA will provide regular training for its members on all self-regulatory codes by September. The training will be coordinated in conjunction with the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) and the Communications Council.

Last week the Communications Council was faced with a report from the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs recommending that all types of advertising fall under a new system that will mean “more red tape and higher costs”.

“More regulation isn’t the answer. What we have to understand is that we’re working in advertising which is a grey area. It’s very subjective. Education and training is the starting point.” she said.

OMA member companies will also provide free advertising space to promote the services of the ASB to the public, similar to FreeTV practices.

“‘We’re not saying don’t be creative. Be as creative as you want. But understand what the rules are,” Moldrich said.


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