Oz Advertising Watchdog Aims to Raise Standards

24 March 2006

The regulation of Australian advertising is undergoing a radical shakeup under the leadership of the industry watchdog's new ceo.

Fiona Jolly, who took the helm at the Advertising Standards Bureau last year, is overseeing the introduction of a new food and drinks code, a review of ethics and a change in the composition of its complaints board.

Jolly's watchwords are transparency and visibility. Since the introduction of a TV campaign to raise the profile of the bureau's work, the numbers of complaints about ads have steadily risen.

Avers Jolly: "In order to gain credibility people have to be aware of what we do and why."

The fight against obesity, and junk food's role in the issue, has prompted the introduction of a food and beverages marketing communications code, still under wraps but to be unveiled within months.

Recruitment to the bureau's board is another of Jolly's missions. She says: "I think the board is very good now and is representative in many ways but an obvious criticism is that there is no cultural diversity."

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff