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Common concerns between advertisers' in India & APac: WFA

MUMBAI: The first Asia Pacific Summit of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), which was held in Hong Kong on 11 and 12 October, brought forth some interesting similarities that Indian and other Asian advertisers' federations faced.

The WFA's first meeting of its kind reflected upon the prolific increase in advertising expenditure across Asia-Pacific and the region's ever-increasing importance to the global advertising market.

Just like in India, advertisers in other Asian countries too are facing problems in areas such as self regulation v/s government regulation; appropriate and accurate media measurement and media monopolies.

The objective of the meeting was to identify common priorities and potential areas of action for advertisers, both local and international, operating in the region. The participants agreed to re-convene on a regular basis in order to build on the cooperation and action developed during this first summit.

The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) chairman ,Bharat Patel, represented the country at WFA.Advertisers from countries like Australia, China, Hong Kong (SAR), India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea were invited to join delegates from the WFA secretariat in Brussels.

 

WFA and its partners in the Asia-Pacific region highlighted three common concerns at the summit. These were as follows:

Increasing advertising restrictions and the role of advertising self-regulation: The advertiser community in Asia-Pacific showed concern at the increasing trend to introduce legislation to restrict advertising. Restricting a company's ability to communicate with the consumer leads to stifled innovation and competition and reduced consumer choice. In turn, this impacts economic growth, jobs, the press and media and is a burden, ultimately shouldered by the consumer. WFA and its partners in the region fully advocated and supported a strong legal framework, complemented by responsible and effective advertising self-regulation. Effective advertising self-regulation ensures a self-financing system, operating at no cost to the consumer with the flexibility to adapt rapidly to changing societal sensitivities.

Reliable audience measurement data: As a key incentive for investment, marketers require marketing accountability. Only through mechanisms that breed trust in the data, can the right conditions for market growth be fostered. WFA and its partners in the region called on the advertising and research industries to put transparent and effective systems of audience measurement in place, which could serve as an incentive for greater commercial communications expenditure. To serve as guidance for the wider advertising community, WFA has set the global industry standards in relation to advertising media and has been at the forefront of industry efforts to draw up a blueprint for consumer-centric holistic measurement.

Increasing media ownership concentration and the impact on media costs: WFA members are aware that media ownership concentration can create significant barriers to real and free competition. A competitive marketplace in the media is a key ingredient for competitiveness and economic growth. Increased diversity ensures healthy competition, ultimately benefiting the consumer.

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