Who funds the self-regulation system?
Responsible advertisers assist in maintaining the self-regulation system’s viability and support its administration by agreeing to a levy being applied to their advertising spend. At the establishment of the advertising self-regulation system in Australia in 1997, the levy rate was set at 0.035 per cent of gross media expenditure. From 1 April 2014, the levy rate increased to 0.05 per cent, just $500 per $1 million of gross media expenditure.
Funding of Ad Standards and its secretariat support of the Ad Standards Community Panel and Ad Standards Industry Jury is provided through the voluntary levy - Ad Standards receives no government funding. The levy is paid to and administered by the Australian Advertising Standards Council (AASC).
How levy is collected
The levy is collected mainly through media buying agencies but also directly from advertisers and advertising agencies that buy their own media space.
The levy is remitted quarterly through the Australian Advertising Standards Council (AASC), the funding body of advertising self-regulation. The AASC holds the industry funds in an account which is drawn upon to pay the costs involved in administering and operating the self-regulatory system.
Management of the funds is outsourced, the financial accounts are prepared by chartered accountants and audited by an independent audit firm.
What the levy is used for
All levy monies are applied exclusively to the maintenance of the self-regulation system. The levy is used to administer the self-regulation system including:
- general Ad Standards administration and operation of the self-regulation system, including maintenance of complaints management
- Ad Standards staff overheads
- Ad Standards Community Panel recruitment, overheads and meetings
- research on community standards in advertising
- Code training for industry
- advocacy and awareness raising of self-regulation
- liaison with Code owners on all Code issues, including reviews.
Confidentiality of levy collected
The amount of levy collected from individual advertisers is kept confidential from the Community Panel, the Ad Standards Board of Directors and the AASC Directors. This ensures appropriate commercial confidentiality about the expenditures of individual advertisers on particular products and services.
How to contribute levy
ADVERTISERS: please check your media invoices. If you do not see the AASC levy applied please complete the Levy Authorisation form and send it to Ad Standards as a priority – details are on the form. If you buy your media directly, please contact Ad Standards and arrangements can be made to send you a quarterly invoice.
MEDIA AGENCIES: please check you are applying the levy to client media invoices and remit the amounts to AASC using the Remittance Advice form.