Why responsible self-regulation demands that we be proactive

3:12 PM, 4 February 2016

Self-regulationDemand for responsibility is increasing on a number of fronts

  • Negative news travels faster and globally.
  • Transparency is more challenging.
  • Community expectations of advertisers has changed.

This environment creates issues not only for individual advertisers, but for the sector as a whole if the industry is not fast enough or decisive enough on important issues.

Advertisers cannot wait until a regulatory threat emerges before tackling an issue. A reactive industry is seen as self-serving and not compassionate; simply changing the debate on some issues instead of tackling them head on.

If the industry takes the role of the victim, then regulatory pressure will increase.

Instead, focusing on the consumer will help companies to advertise sustainably -- maintaining ethical benchmarks within the organisation -- and, through that, retaining the ability to advertise.

The cost of waiting

Waiting to tackle an issue comes at a cost: the cost of government involvement and the cost of consumer distrust.

The greatest cost, however, is a loss of control over the self-regulatory system by brand owners.

Ultimately, proactive and positive self-regulation need to become part of the advertising system. Such self-regulation should become part of the industry's DNA.

Do you agree or disagree? What is your take on self-regulation? If you have any queries, contact lindsay@anza.co.nz.

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