South Africa's advert censor, the Advertising Standards Authority', has gone bankrupt and is being replaced by another. The ASA went into liquidation at the end of September after years of mismanagement and alleged financial impropriety.
The Advertising Regulatory Board will take over as the advert censor with a new membership and staff structure. It will be headed by former ASA legal counsel Gail Schimmel and the organisation will be funded by the advertising industry.
The brand and marketing industry is being asked to rally around the new organisation. Two other industry bodies, The Association for Communication & Advertising (ACA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), have also lent their support
to the new ARB.
The animal campaign group Peta has taken issue with a North American retailer Canada Goose which sells down filled jackets. Peta writes:
To kick off our robust anti-Canada Goose campaign across the U.S. and Canada, an enormous billboard has been erected near the retailer's flagship store in Chicago. A goose, pleading for his life, now towers over one of Chi-Town's busiest
streets, reminding drivers and pedestrians alike that geese don't want to die.
Meanwhile, in Short Hills, New Jersey, geese are making their own bus-side plea that's sure to grab folks' attention.
However not everyone is happy with the adverts leading to the advertising space company Astral, quickly taking down some of the adverts.
Peta wasn't impressed and responded:
Citing numerous complaints, the ad agency Astral Media Outdoor removed PETA's ads from several bus shelters in Toronto after they were up for just one day last month--so our legal counsel sent a letter to the agency pointing out that the
censorship violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of expression, and demanding an explanation for the removal of the ads.
Online adverts placed by Scottish companies are to be trawled by automated bots to proactively seek out commercials which break censorship rules.
The automated technology is part of a new strategy to be unveiled next month by the Advertising Standards Authority, which will use the software to identify adverts and social media posts which could potentially be in breach of official
standards. They will then be assessed by humans and a decision made as to whether action should be taken.
ASA chief executive Guy Parker told Scotland on Sunday that Scottish companies and organisations were likely to be specifically targeted under the new, UK-wide strategy. Parker regurgitated the old trope that the innocent have nothing to fear
I don't think responsible Scottish companies have anything to fear -- on the contrary, they will welcome better online regulation.
We want to make more adverts responsible online than we have at the moment. We are looking at how we can responsibly automate something that would flag up things that we would then want humans to review. We want to be in a position by 2023 where
we are an organisation that is using this technology in a way that makes adverts more responsible.
It seems that Scotland was chosen as the Guinea-pig for the new system as ASA says that Scots historically don't complain much about adverts, although there was an upturn last year. Parker notes that the most complaints UK-wide come from
"better off, middle class people in London and the southeast of England".