The International Council for Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS) held its Annual Meeting and Conference on Wednesday 18 April 2018 in Helsinki, Finland, gathering around 40 senior executives involved in the promotion of responsible advertising around the world. The event was an opportunity to further consolidate links between national Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) and to agree on key priorities for 2018-2019, with a strong focus on the globalization and digitalization of ads.
Following the decision to manage ICAS as an independent network from its sister organization the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) in October 2016, the network has gained new members and now represents 29 organizations active in all major regions of the world: Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.
After launching a permanent Secretariat, based in Brussels, and an official website, icas.global, in 2017, ICAS will now focus on developing its activities in four main areas in 2018 and 2019:
- Becoming a source of reference for information and expertise on Ad Self-Regulation, for example by publishing key facts and figures on SROs worldwide and by facilitating the exchange of best practices on emerging issues such as influencer marketing. Some initial steps were already made in this direction in 2017 with the publication of the ICAS International Guide to Developing a Self-Regulatory Organization in December.
- Expanding the ICAS network by developing relationships with SROs which are not yet members of the network, as well as by supporting the establishment of Self-Regulatory Systems in new markets. ICAS was honored to welcome Mr Zhang Guohua, President of the China Advertising Association (CAA), as special guest in its Annual Meeting, and looks forward to furthering its cooperation with China and other markets in Asia and beyond.
- Raising awareness about Ad Self-Regulation among key decision-makers in the industry and in public authorities. After launching a 1-minute explanatory video on Ad Self-Regulation in November 2017, ICAS plans to develop further educational and advocacy tools to outline the considerable benefits of the self-regulatory approach for consumers, brands and regulators.
- Finally, ICAS will continue to manage its activities in a transparent and efficient way. Having strengthened its governance structure by adopting new internal rules on 18 April, ICAS will continue to consult its members and stakeholders on a regular basis to ensure that it responds to the needs and expectations of the self-regulatory community.
The next ICAS Annual Meeting is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2019. More information will be available in the coming months.