The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) will return and continue its operations soon.
This is according to Gail Schimmel, CEO of the ASA.
Schimmel spoke to MyBroadband about the ASA’s plans following an announcement this week that the authority was being liquidated.
The notice of liquidation follows a meeting of creditors during which SARS, the ASA’s principle creditor, rejected an offer to the creditors – triggering the liquidation, said the ASA.
“Over the last year, the ASA has restructured to reduce operating costs, re-established a funding system, increased its output, and reduced its turnaround time,” said Schimmel.
“However, the marketing, advertising and communications industries have made it clear that they are fully committed to self-regulation of commercial speech, in order to protect consumers from misleading and potentially harmful advertising, and will do whatever is necessary to preserve it.”
The Advertising Regulatory Board
Schimmel told MyBroadband that the next steps for the ASA is to focus on preserving self-regulation in the country and how it can achieve that.
A new authority, called the Advertising Regulatory Board, will be established. The move will be backed by founding members the IAB, MASA, and the ACA.
“We are working flat out to start the new entity as soon as possible, but it will hopefully be by the end of the month,” said Schimmel.
“The industry is committed to self-regulation. This has been a disappointing set-back, but consumers can rest assured that the marketing and advertising industry will protect their right to complain about advertising content.”
In terms of consumer complaints submitted before the Advertising Regulatory Board is set up, the ASA is not allowed to trade – as per the instructions of the business rescue practitioner.
This means that complaints will only be handled once the new entity is up and running.