Advertising Standards Bureau Review of Operations 2014 - Page 9

Funding of self-regulation Who funds the self-regulation system? Responsible advertisers assist in maintaining the self-regulation system’s viability and support its administration by agreeing to a levy being applied to their advertising spend. At the establishment of the advertising self-regulation system in Australia, the levy was set at 0.035 per cent, just $350 per $1m of gross media expenditure. The levy rate remained unchanged between 1997 and 2013 despite a significant increase in the number of codes, complaints, cases and media touch points. Following on from a review in 2013 the ASB sought and received key industry stakeholder support for an increase of the levy rate. On 1 April 2014 the self-regulation levy was set at 0.05 per cent ($500 per $1m of media spend). Funding of the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) and its secretariat support of the Advertising Standards Board and Advertising Claims Board is provided through the voluntary levy - the ASB receives no government funding. The levy is paid to and administered by the Australian Advertising Standards Council (AASC). Review of Operations 2014 How levy is collected What the levy is used for The levy is collected mainly through media buying agencies but also directly from advertisers that buy their own media space. All levy monies are applied exclusively to the maintenance of the self-regulation system and are used to finance activities such as: The levy is remitted quarterly through the Australian Advertising Standards Council (AASC), the funding body of advertising selfregulation. The AASC holds the industry funds in an account which is drawn upon to pay the costs involved in administering and operating the selfregulation system. • general ASB administration and operation of the self-regulation system • recruitment of Advertising Standards Board members, and attendance of Board members from diverse geographical backgrounds at regular meetings • Advertising Standards Bureau meetings and teleconferences with industry, consumers and government as appropriate throughout the year • research to assist Advertising Standards Board members and the community to understand self-regulation and specific Code related issues, including research into communit y standards and levels of awareness of the ASB • ASB contribution to Code reviews. Management of the funds is outsourced, with the financial accounts prepared by chartered accountants and audited independently. Confidentiality of levy collected The amount of levy collected from individual advertisers is kept confidential from the Board and Directors of both the ASB and the AASC. This ensures appropriate commercial confidentiality about the expenditures of individual advertisers. 7