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Advertising Standards Authority overcomes financial challenges

Thembi MsibiASASA CEO - Thembi Msibi

Over the past few years the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been experiencing challenges with regard to its finances.

The core members and funders of the ASA created a Task Team in mid-2015 to resolve the ongoing challenges facing the ASA.

The ASA industry task team comprises the ACA, MASA, BRC and NAB.

The first order of business for the Task Team was to engage an independent service provider to conduct a full review of the ASA’s operations and funding.

The Task Team also worked collaboratively toward ensuring that the funding needs for the ASA’s 2015 financial period were covered.

On 2 March 2016 the Task Team and the ASA held a workshop toward developing a clear strategy and feasible funding model.

This first workshop was a success in that there was alignment on the need to safeguard self-regulation of advertising in South Africa.

It also laid the foundation for reviewing the ASA and repositioning it as a credible, relevant and efficient industry organization.

The workshop identified the following areas as requiring immediate attention:

Fit for purpose: The ASA must be an organisation tailored to deliver the best service to the public through optimal management of its resources;

Equitable and sustainable funding: A fair funding model that will ensure an equitable contribution by all members should be adopted;

Strengthened jurisdiction: The focus must be on widening the signatories to the ASA Code toward limiting litigation and securing accreditation of the ASA by the National Consumer Commission to further widen its jurisdiction.

These areas will be addressed at the second workshop to be held on 17 March 2016, culminating with the development of an implementation plan for the total overhaul of the ASA.

The ASA and Industry Task Team welcome these positive developments and wish to thank members for their financial contributions and collaborative work in ensuring that the ASA is strengthened.

It was agreed that the industry must re-commit to the principles of self-regulation in an ever changing and converging media and communications industry.

To that end, industry stakeholders are encouraged to engage their relevant Executives for the support of an even stronger and sustainable ASA.

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