Members of a major European industry body were set to vote it out
of existence this week to in a bid to sustain and extend self-regulation
across the continent.
By sacrificing the European Advertising Tripartite and putting extra
resources at the disposal of the European Advertising Standards
Alliance, industry leaders believe the result will be a beefed-up body
in which they will have a stronger voice and which will be better placed
to fight the self-regulation battle.
The Alliance, whose members include self-regulatory bodies across the
European Union, including Britain's Advertising Standards Authority, was
formed to raise standards of self-regulation and act as a clearing house
for cross-border complaints.
But its function largely duplicates that of the EAT, set up in 1990 to
co-ordinate the industry's action on self-regulation but whose lobbying
role has been increasingly questioned by its members.
Growing disinterest in it was reflected in the fact that John Hooper,
the former director-general of ISBA, agreed to remain as the EAT's
chairman when his two-year term of office expired because a successor
could not be found.
At a meeting called by Hooper in Brussels in early February, some 70
delegates representing agencies, poster companies, sales promotion,
direct marketing and media owners agreed the need for a new body
representing the interests of self-regulation.
This Thursday, EAT members were due to meet to pass a resolution
dissolving the body.