A plan to increase the independence and power of the body that sets
the rules for the UK’s self-regulatory system of advertising control is
under discussion by senior industry figures.
They believe that beefing up the Committee of Advertising Practice is
the only way the industry will keep self-regulation intact in the face
of mounting criticism from advertisers and some industry bodies. They
are also thinking about the potential impact of a Labour government,
which may favour statutory controls.
The proposal would end the system under which CAP receives its funding
via the Advertising Standards Authority, even though the ASA is
officially accountable to it.
Instead, CAP would be funded directly by the Advertising Standards Board
At the same time, CAP’s status could be boosted by allowing it to
appoint its own chief executive, its own staff and to run a separate
office away from the ASA’s London headquarters.
The proposals are due for discussion shortly during an ’away day’
session and, if approved, could be introduced later this year.
Sources close to CAP say the aim is to make it a more effective
mouthpiece for the industry, if and when it has to make a case to
incoming Labour ministers.
One said: ’CAP’s role has become emasculated, which means it’s not as
professional and well organised as it should be. By having its own
percentage of the ASBOF levy, CAP would become more independent and
powerful, while protecting itself against being downgraded.’