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Advertising Self-Regulation Supported By EU


Advertising Self-Regulation Supported By EU Report

A recently released report by the European Union supports the Self-Regulation of advertising. The Report is examined in the Research Bulletin released today by the Foundation for Advertising Research.

A questioned being asked worldwide is whether advertising should be Self-Regulated or Government regulated. In Australia and New Zealand the debate centres around who should regulate the advertising of food, soft drinks and alcohol.

The European Union was sufficiently concerned to conduct an extensive inquiry by way of a Round Table where all stakeholders including consumer groups and NGOs had an input.

The Report supports advertising Self -Regulation but challenges self-regulators to meet best practice standards which are discussed at some length. However the best practice standards are demanding and raise the bar significantly. Advertising Self-Regulatory Organisations now have a blueprint to follow which is also of use to all kinds of industry regulation whether it be self-regulatory, co-regulatory or Government regulation.

One important finding was that of penalties for advertisements found to be in breach of the codes. The Report states that the withdrawal of an advertisement is an effective penalty and better than fines. The Report concluded that "the business costs of withdrawal are real (reputation, share price). These market penalties can be a more effective source of good behaviour than imposition of specific financial penalties,"

The Report is of particular relevance to the current debate on who should regulate the advertising of food, soft drinks and alcohol.

Glen Wiggs Director Foundation for Advertising Research


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