Ad Standards has strong links with other self-regulatory bodies around the world, including in the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada. Relationships within the ASEAN region are continuing to develop, and Ad Standards has played host to a number of international delegations of advertising self-regulators.
Ad Standards Australia is a founding member of the International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS). ICAS is a global platform promoting responsible ads through the effective implementation of self-regulatory standards.
In 2008 the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) established an International Council which was a sub-committee of non-European members of EASA. Initially, ICAS was an informal network operating under the umbrella of EASA, without any dedicated staff or budget. The Council provided a forum for facilitating information exchange and discussion of best practices between advertising Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) around the world.
In 2016, ICAS members decided to formalise their cooperation and to establish a new, independent platform, with dedicated resources and staff. The formal launch was made at a Constitutive Meeting on 26 October in Lisbon, Portugal. Founding members agreed that the new platform would unite national SROs, regional SRO associations and international industry associations to form a powerful Council with the aim of not only of sharing best practices, but also of facilitating the establishment of new SROs in emerging markets and of working on solutions to the global challenges faced by the advertising industry.
The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) is the key organisation regarding advertising self-regulation in Europe and beyond. It promotes high ethical standards in commercial communications by means of effective self-regulation and provides ongoing support to member self-regulation organisations. There are 25 SRO members of EASA.
EASA has been the leader in the development of advertising best practice recommendations which self-regulatory member organisations are encouraged to implement.
Ad Standards interacts with EASA regularly, utilises the EASA database for research and contacts international counterparts about research and organisational topics of interest. This includes valuable insight and useful information on topics such as Ad Standards Community Panel meeting procedure, violence in advertising, portrayal of gender in advertising, and dealing with complaints that are not forwarded to the Community Panel.
Asia Pacific Region
Ad Standards has taken an active role in the ongoing development, refinement and capacity building of advertising self-regulation both in Australia and beyond.
Our work within APEC
With the guidance of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and assistance from members of the International Council of the European Advertising Standards Alliance and other international colleagues, Ad Standards developed a program of work under the auspice of APEC.
In November 2012, Ad Standards delivered a world-first advertising self-regulation Dialogue with APEC economies, held in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ad Standards helped bring together advertising self-regulation experts and novices from 17 of the 21 APEC economies.
The Dialogue was the second held under APEC’s Regulatory Cooperation Assistance Mechanism (ARCAM).
A report on the Dialogue outcomes was presented to APEC with a view to encouraging further progress on the initiative. Ad Standards continues to encourage APEC to support the alignment of regulatory frameworks in acknowledging advertising’s role in economic growth and the role that self-regulation plays in building consumer trust in the market. The report recommendations also reflect the importance of reducing and preventing barriers to trade through the development of SROs on the basis of international best practice.
Following the Hanoi Dialogue, the APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) released a report in early 2014 which included recommendations that additional dialogues be undertaken to share best practice among economies, and to offer capacity building for APEC self-regulatory organisations.
To implement this regulation the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) approved a second workshop in Beijing, China in 2014.
The APEC Advertising Standards Forum and Mentoring Workshop were held as part of the APEC’s SOM3 meeting in Beijing on 8-9 August 2014 and were successful in bringing participants from 16 APEC Economies together to discuss advertising standards and regulations.
The event was coordinated by Ad Standards and the Chinese Association of National Advertisers.
The APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards was approved by both the Committee for Trade and Investment (CTI) and the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM).
The report from the Advertising Standards Forum and Mentoring Workshop is available online.
Ho Chi Minh 2017
The APEC Advertising Standards Conference was held on 23-24 August 2017 as part of the APEC’s SOM3 meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The meeting was successful in bringing participants from 16 APEC Economies, five years after the initial meeting of APEC SROs in Hanoi, Vietnam 2017.
The meeting focussed on the implementation of the APEC Action Agenda on Advertising Standards and furthering advertising self regulation in the region.