WFA participates in APEC Dialogue on Advertising Self-Regulation


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7-8 November 2012, Hanoi: Representatives from countries across APEC have gathered for two days of meetings designed to facilitate the sharing of information and best practice in relation to advertising standards. The aim is to develop principles that APEC economies can use when considering or further developing their own advertising self-regulatory regimes with a view to minimising potential technical barriers to trade. 13 out of 21 APEC economies currently have some form of advertising standards in place.

The dialogue was organised by the Advertising Standards Bureau Australia and supported by the Australian government under the auspices of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment. Government officials with oversight for marketing communications as well as self-regulators from 17 out of 21 APEC economies were represented.

The World Federation of Advertisers gave a keynote presentation underlining the critical economic importance of advertising as well as the socio-economic and cultural benefits of effective advertising standards. A number of common themes were reiterated during the course of presentations and debates:

• Advertising is a critical driver of economic growth; there is a causal link between media investment and GDP growth;

• Effective industry-led advertising standards can create an optimal environment for media and marketing investment;

• There are some globally agreed best practice benchmarks for advertising standards both in terms of SRO infrastructure and code;

• These best practices can be effectively leveraged and applied in national contexts in order to create a media landscape that is conducive to economic growth; and regulatory harmonisation across APEC economies can reduce barriers to trade.

Participants at the Dialogue expressed the desire for APEC to foster a better understanding of the benefits and role of industry-led advertising standards and proposed a series of practical measures in order to achieve this objective. The Australian Government is due to report back on outcomes to APEC, which could lead to non-binding recommendations to APEC economies. CEO of the Australian Ad Standards Bureau, Fiona Jolly reiterated; “From the dialogue we aim to develop an agreed set of principles that APEC economies can use when considering or further developing their approach to advertising standards.”

In her opening address, Ms Dang Thi Bich Lien, Vice Minister of Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism stated that “[she] trust[ed] the outcomes of this dialogue will provide the government bodies responsible for the advertising industry in Vietnam with the latest international good practices and experience in effective advertising convergence and regulatory cooperation which would set forth a favourable environment for the advertising industry to develop and contribute to the overall social-economic development of Vietnam.” This comes five months after Vietnam approved a new law which endorsed a role for advertising self-regulation, mandating the Vietnamese marketing industry to develop a code of conduct to come into force by January 1st 2013.

For more information, please contact Will Gilroy at

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