Aim of self-regulation
The aim of self-regulation is to maintain high advertising standards and ensure consumer trust and protection for the benefit of all of the community.
Current system of self-regulation
The current system of self-regulation was established by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) in 1998 following extensive consultation with industry, consumer and government representatives. It recognises that advertisers share an interest in promoting consumer confidence in and respect for general standards of advertising.
Self-regulation provides an effective and efficient way for advertisers to engage with consumers and to respond to consumers' concerns about advertising. It ensures consumer protection by providing a free and fast route for consumers to express their views about advertising and to have an impartial body to contact.
Self-regulation of the advertising industry has been achieved by establishing a set of rules and principles of best practice to which the industry voluntarily agrees to be bound.
These rules are expressed in a number of Codes and Initiatives. The rules are based on the belief that advertisements should be legal, decent, honest and truthful, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society as a whole and with due respect to the rules of fair competition.
The work of Ad Standards is not underpinned by any Government legislation.
Industry support of the self-regulation system
Industry support is fundamental to the success of Australia's world class system of advertising industry self-regulation.
Participating advertisers demonstrate their support for self-regulation by instructing their advertising agencies to adhere to its various Codes of advertising standards, by agreeing to the levy being applied to their media expenditures, and by complying with decisions of the Ad Standards Community Panel.
Participating advertising agencies support the system by monitoring the various Codes and determinations made by the Community Panel and consulting with their advertiser clients.
Participating media buyers support the system by collecting and remitting the levy through their accounting systems.
Participating media operators support the system by promoting self regulation through information and advertising material prepared by Ad Standards. They also support the system by assisting with removal of ads if appropriate.