At the ‘Advertising Standards – Principles and Practice’ dialogue held earlier this month in Hanoi, government and industry representatives from 17 of the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries came together to share information and best practice on advertising self-regulation.

According to Fiona Jolly, CEO of the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau – who organised the dialogue – the aim was to develop a set of common principles to provide APEC economies with a framework when they are “considering or further developing their approach to advertising standards”.

The dialogue provided a platform for the country participants and representatives from organisations such as the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and the International Chamber of Commerce to discuss the importance of self-regulation. The dialogue also highlighted how common advertising principles can be applied across different economies with different cultural and social standards.

In his keynote presentation, Will Gilroy of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) spoke on the economic, socio-economic and cultural importance of advertising. He also highlighted that the industry’s “best practices can be effectively leveraged and applied in national contexts in order to create a media landscape that is conducive to economic growth”, adding that “regulatory harmonisation across APEC economies can reduce barriers to trade”.

Ms Dang Thi Bich Lien, Vice Minister of Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, who opened the dialogue said: “I trust the outcomes of this dialogue will provide the government bodies responsible for the advertising industry in Vietnam with the latest international good practices and experience in effective advertising convergence and regulatory cooperation.”

She added that this “would set forth a favourable environment for the advertising industry to develop and contribute to the overall social-economic development of Vietnam.”

Participants congratulated the Advertising Standards Bureau Australia for initiating the dialogue.

Glen Wiggs, Director of the Foundation for Advertising Research (FAR), was pleased with the outcomes and said that his foundation is planning to provide assistance to the countries that are looking to establish best practice self-regulation but lack the implementation knowledge and tools.

“FAR intends to assist in every way. We have a huge database of evidence, material and data on self-regulation, and we intend to share some of this information with those who need it on an ongoing basis,” he said.

Ms Folly was pleased by the support that the dialogue received from APEC, saying that “the level of participation from APEC economies recognises the importance of advertising and appropriate advertising standards to the Asia-Pacific region”.