The Singapore Government has recently announced that a self-regulatory regime will regulate the advertising of food to children. There have been ongoing discussions between industry organisations, the Singapore Ministry of Health and associated Health Promotion Board as to the best way to regulate the advertising of food and beverages to children. There has also been extensive consultation with various stakeholders.
New advertising guidelines will be incorporated in the Singapore Advertising Code of Practice and will take effect from January 2015. The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore will administer the Guidelines.
Included in the Guidelines will be uniform nutrient criteria. Only food and beverage products that meet the criteria may be advertised to children.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has released its ‘Framework For Responsible Marketing Communications of Alcohol’. The Framework takes the Consolidated ICC Code as a base and then interprets it Article by Article as it applies to alcohol advertising.
Most of the Framework deals with the interpretation of social responsibility – something that is difficult to define in black letter law contained in statutory regulation. One of the key advantages of self-regulatory codes is that it is easier to define social responsibility.
This Framework will be of great assistance for jurisdictions that are considering upgrading their regulation of alcohol advertising.
The Framework can be found at http://www.codescentre.com/media/12670/icc-alcohol-framework_final_march2014.pdf
Further information on the Framework is at http://www.iccwbo.org/News/Articles/2014/New-ICC-Framework-clarifies-do%E2%80%99s-and-don%E2%80%99ts-for-responsible-marketing-of-alcohol/
An ‘Information Exchange and Discussion’ on Best Practice Advertising Regulation will be held in Sydney, Australia on 24 March. The event is part of the WFA Annual Conference and Global Marketing Week being held in Sydney from 24 – 28 March.
The program includes
- Presentations by Guy Parker and Ildiko Fazekas of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA)
- Presentations by Asia-Pacific advertising Self-Regulatory Organisations from India, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand
- An open forum discussion on the way forward in the Asia-Pacific region. This promises to be a most useful and important discussion.
The session is being organised jointly by EASA, WFA and the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB). Fiona Jolly of the ASB was instrumental in organizing the Hanoi Conference and is leading the discussions with APEC.
Building capacity, training and development in best practice advertising regulation was identified as being of priority by the Hanoi Dialogue, which has now been endorsed by APEC. This is welcome news as a robust best practice advertising regulatory regime provides the right environment for a flourishing advertising industry. As advertising is a driver of economic growth everyone benefits. Now begins the task of actioning the recommendations.
Capacity building, training and development is needed in three areas
– Advertising regulators
- Industry including advertisers, ad agencies and media
Industry does not always recognise it has a key role and needs to be a driver of the capacity building, training and development program. In a general sense this is counter-intuitive for industry as it leaves regulation to Governments. Conversely it is counter-intuitive of many Governments to encourage industry to be involved in the development of a regulatory regime. Best practice advertising regulation is a partnership between Government and industry – That is the challenge
The APEC Ministerial Meeting held in Bali on 4/5 October agreed to the “progression of advertising standards in the region.” This is a huge step forward and will enable the recommendations from the November 2012 Hanoi Dialogue on ‘Advertising Standards – Principles and Practice’ to be implemented.
A key issue identified at the Dialogue was the need to build capacity. This also was recognised by the Ministerial Meeting generally. Paragraph 46 of the Ministerial Statement states -
“We encouraged interested economies to explore the possibility of using additional tools to strengthen their implementation of good regulatory practices, including single on-line locations for regulatory information, prospective regulatory planning, including regulatory agendas, and retrospective reviews of existing regulations. We instructed officials to develop capacity-building programs to assist APEC economies in improving their understanding on these tools.”
Also important was that the Ministers recognized that best practice regulation reduces barriers to trade thus fostering economic growth and that advertising regulation is a vital component. Paragraph 50 of the Statement states –
“We recognized the work on regulatory approaches on reducing technical barriers to trade and fostering greater regulatory cooperation in the region including through the revised APEC Regulatory Cooperation Advancement Mechanism (ARCAM) on Trade-Related Standards and Technical Regulations and we welcomed discussions on electric vehicles as the topic for the 2014 ARCAM Dialogue. We look forward to the progression of work on advertising standards in the region.”
The Advertising Standards Bureau Australia (ASBA), which has been leading the project on behalf of advertising regulatory organizations, has been liaising with APEC. It announced that it and international partners are now planning the way ahead and assisting APEC. It is anticipated that there will be substantial progress in 2014. In a just released statement ASBA said -
“APEC will soon finalise a project on identifying gaps in the advertising system and standards in the region. From there APEC members will take action to use the resources of existing systems, such as those in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada and others, to provide capacity building training and development to bring the systems and standards in all APEC economies to a level that will best benefit all communities.”
The Ministerial Statement may be found on this link
The ASBA statement may be found on this link
The robust growth in adspend in the APAC region in the first quarter of this year (See 23rd July post) has continued in the second quarter. The latest Nielsen Global AdView Pulse report records growth of 6.4% for the January-June half-year compared with the same period in 2012. Although less than the sensational growth of 13.1% in Latin America the APAC growth was more than double of the world average of 2.8%. See graph.
As adspend is a driver of economic growth this is good news for the APAC region.