Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 17

Achievements in 2014 Our strategic plan Our key result areas The Board of Directors of the Advertising Standards Bureau, along with the CEO, govern the strategic direction of the Bureau. Through its strategic, financial and operational dealings, the Board aims to position the ASB as the foremost complaints resolution body for advertising in Australia. Financial Our strategic plan covers four key result areas: • Financial • Beneficiaries/Stakeholders • Internal business processes • Long term development. The ASB is financially viable and sustainable The increase in the number of codes, complaints, cases and media types falling under the remit of the ASB during the past 15 years resulted in industry endorsement of an increase in the levy applied to advertising spend. The increase from 0.035 per cent to 0.05 per cent came into force on 1 April 2014. Prior to this increase the levy rate had remained unchanged since 1997. The levy is primarily by media buyers and remitted directly to the administering body the Australian Advertising Standards Council (AASC), which in turn provides funding to cover the operating costs of the ASB. The ASB acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Association of National Advertisers, the Media Federation of Australia, the Communications Council and individual companies for supporting and assisting the ASB in the process to review the levy framework. Work continued in 2014 in promoting the benefits of the advertising self-regulation system and encouraging advertisers to maintain the support of the system through payment of the levy. Work to gain levy support from some of Australia’s larger advertisers also continued in 2014. With more money being spent in-house by industry on diverse advertising and marketing communications, a current focus at the ASB is assessment of the most suitable, long-term approach to ensure equitable contributions from industry. The goal of the approach selected will be to maintain adequate funding levels to ensure Review of Operations 2014 the independent complaints handling system continues to be world class. Revenues are in line with media expenditure The financial administration and control of the Advertising Standards Bureau is overseen by an independent internationally recognised accounting firm (BDO) with accounts audited by an independent national audit firm (Grant Thornton). The audit report for the financial year 2013-14 reconfirmed that the financial management of the ASB was in accordance with current laws and accounting standards. The overall level of financial support provided by advertisers was slightly above the level of the previous year, reflecting the introduction of the increased levy rate. During the year ongoing monitoring was conducted to determine if there had been a variance in advertiser financial support due to rate increase. To date there was no evidence that support has decreased. As well as striving to increase levy income, the ASB has maintained a firm control of expenditure to ensure that financial administration is prudent and effective. Beneficiaries/Stakeholders The ASB is valued by the community as a reputable, credible, trustworthy service Community endorsement of the service provided by the ASB was highlighted in survey responses by consumers during 2014. As with previous years, during 2014 the ASB continued to invite complainant and advertiser feedback about the advertising complaint 15