The National & #BANNER1 & # Advertiser Associations in the Asia Pacific region met recently in Hong Kong to discuss restrictions in advertising, in association with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). Several issues relating to advertising norms were discussed at the summit, which was attended by ad professionals from Australia, China, Hong Kong (SAR), India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea.
Interestingly, it was discovered at the summit that India and the rest of Asia were facing similar issues.
Ad professionals debated the prolific increase in advertising expenditure across the Asia-Pacific, and the region's ever-increasing importance to the global advertising market.
The main objective of the meet was to identify the common priorities and potential areas of action for advertisers, both local and international, operating in the region. The participants agreed to re-convene on a regular basis in order to build on the cooperation and action developed during this first summit.
The issues included self-regulation versus government regulation, appropriate and accurate media measurement and media monopolies, which lead to high media prices.
Ad professionals in Asia were particularly concerned about the increasing trend of introducing legislation to restrict advertising, which in turn leads to stifled innovation and competition and reduced consumer choice. This impacts economic growth, jobs, the press and media and becomes a burden that is ultimately shouldered by the consumer.
Effective advertising self-regulation was suggested as a possible solution to this. This ensures a self-financing system, operating at no cost to the consumer, and with the flexibility to adapt rapidly to changing societal sensitivities. Secondly, reliable audience measurement data was offered as a key incentive for investment for marketers who require marketing accountability.
WFA also called on the advertising and research industries to put transparent and effective systems of audience measurement in place, which would serve as an incentive for greater commercial communications expenditure.
Increased diversity was suggested to ensure healthy competition and as a defence against increasing media ownership concentration, which, it was felt, was impacting on media costs and creating significant barriers to real and free competition.
Bharat Patel, chairman, Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), represented India at the summit.
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