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Ad industry achievements in the past decade

As the advertising industry hurtles toward another Loerie Awards ceremony, where the country's advertising crème de la crème are acknowledged, the Association for Communications and Advertising (ACA)'s Odette Roper highlights some of the successes of the advertising industry over the past decade.
Roper describes the local industry as a very sophisticated one which has achieved many successes over the years. One of them is clearly the Loerie Awards that recognise talent in the industry. Others include:

  • SAARF: The establishment of the South African Advertising Research Foundation that directs and publishes media audience and product/brand research for the benefit of clients and agencies. “This is very important when planning and buying media space and time,” says Roper.

  • ASA: The establishment of the Advertising Standards Authority, an independent body set up and paid for by the industry to regulate advertising in the public interest through a system of self-regulation. The ASA works closely with Government, statutory bodies, consumer organisations and the industry to ensure that the content of advertising meets the requirements of the industry's Code of Advertising Practice.

  • ACA's Legal Advisory Service: In 1996, the ACA established an advisory service based on the ASA Code - this service affords advertising practitioners independent advice to ensure that their television advertising, particularly problematic advertisements conforms to the code.

  • MIT: The Marketing Industry Trust was established between marketers, advertisers and the media in 1997 by the industry for the purpose of funding industry-related initiatives for representation, protection and promotion of the interests of the industry, research and self-regulation.

  • Freedom of Commercial Speech: In other words, if a product is good to be sold then it is good to be advertised.

  • Abandonment Insurance: Together with AON Insurance Brokers, the ACA affords its members access to affordable film abandonment insurance which minimises financial risk to agencies and clients during the production of TV commercials.

  • Awards: “In a world that gravitates towards the negative, it is important to acknowledge the positive and what better way to do so than to showcase South African advertising, which also showcases our country in all its richness, creativity and diversity,” says Roper. The ACA's APEX Awards has “contributed to the industry's culture of creating campaigns that are not only creative but effective by generating a return on investment and thereby contributing to the client's bottom line”.

    In addition, she says, “The Loerie Awards Company recognises and awards creative advertising and has seen an amazing response over the past few years which has positioned the South African advertising industry as comparable internationally.”

  • The Transformation Charter: The commitment and enthusiasm of the industry to transform is demonstrated by the ACA member agencies BEE, EE and gender statistics.

  • Tenders and pitches: The ACA, together with National Treasury and GCIS, formulated the industry's best practice guidelines for the procurement of marketing, advertising and PR services/products that aims to prevent obstructions that prohibit effective procurement, promote the participation of smaller agencies in tenders and pitches and foster closer alignment of procurement policies and marketing and advertising practices of major public enterprises and Government.

About Vivian Warby

Vivian Warby is a senior freelance journalist for in Cape Town. She can be contacted on target="_blank.

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