AA raises fees to fight attacks on ads

The Advertising Association is telling its members that they must dig deeper into their pockets if the industry is to fend off attacks from critics.

The body plans to raise its minimum annual membership fee to £10,000 - despite warnings this could lead to some of the smaller trade associations quitting. But executives are said to believe this is a price worth paying if the association is to be properly staffed and carry out more effective research to counter pressure group charges that advertising fuels obesity and binge drinking.

At present, there are disparities in the amount the AA's 34 members pay. Media bodies, ISBA and the IPA contribute about £140,000 a year. Small organisations can pay £2,000.

The increased fees will be introduced over a two-year period. Member bodies which have difficulty paying may be able to negotiate a reduced fee, but may have to sacrifice their place on the AA council.

Baroness Peta Buscombe, the AA's chief executive, said: "Unless we have the tools, we can't do our job of being more proactive."

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