CAP’s role reviewed in attempt to stave off fresh legislation

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.

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

of Finance.



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.’



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