BRUSSELS: Senior figures from the global advertising, marketing, agency and media businesses have committed themselves to strengthening advertising self-regulation worldwide, following this year's World Federation of Advertisers' conference.

The new initiative aims to encourage the highest standards of responsible marketing within the so-called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and other key emerging markets such as Mexico.

In addition, the WFA is determined to promote awareness among consumers about how to lodge complaints against advertisers and how self-regulation works.

The organisation is to improve processes for quickly removing ads that breach the code of conduct; ensure transparency in adjudication; include non-industry involvement in self-regulation to enhance credibility, trust and independence; and uphold codes of conduct that are culture-sensitive.

Comments WFA managing director Stephan Loerke: "At a time when new technologies and new markets are driving significant changes in our industry, we need to ensure effective advertising self-regulation exists in all markets."

A special task force drawn from the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Advertising Association and the European Advertising Standards Alliance, among others, will drive self-regulation forward.

Adds WFA president Bernhard Glock (global media and communication chief at Procter & Gamble): "Society and regulators rightly demand that business assumes its responsibilities.

"The marketing communications industry is clearly committed to funding and implementing effective advertising self-regulation worldwide. It is critical for global consumer confidence in our industry."

Data sourced from World Federation of Advertisers; additional content by WARC staff