In an open letter issued by the Marketing Association of South Africa [MA(SA)] on the December 12, 2011, the association indicated its concerns about a potential industry crisis that threatened to impact the sustainability of The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) and The South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF).
The dispute originated with the withdrawal of the Out of Home Media Association (OHMSA) from the levy collection and distribution agency MAMCA and a stated objection from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) followed suit. Print Media South Africa (PMSA) has not been a member of MAMCA for the past six years, preferring to collect contributions from their members directly and making a bulk monthly payment to SAARF and the ASA without disclosing individual contributions.
MA(SA) responded by suggesting that a transparent add-on levy is essential for the sustainability and growth of both SAARF and the ASA. Additionally, the proposed system of direct collections by media associations should be regulated in order to ensure all members are contributing to the same degree and stressed that media owners should recognise the marketers right to play a direct role in the management of the levy fund.
MA(SA), the representative voice for organisations and individuals in the marketing industry, intervened and engaged the representative associations to reach a consensus during a fully representative meeting held at the end of January 2012. MA(SA) is pleased to announce that it has received responses to the proposals from NAB, OHMSA, the Association of Communication and Advertising (ACA) and the Advertising Media Forum (AMF), with a formal response from PMSA expected shortly.
MA(SA) will collate all the responses into an interim agreement outlining the areas of consensus as well as the responses that require further negotiation and discussion. MA(SA) is confident of a positive resolution at this stage as the initial responses confirms support for the ASA and SAARF as a means of providing an independent audience and product research as well as self regulation for the industry.
CEO of MA(SA), Sarel du Plessis, says, “We are confident that an agreement on the funding on these two vital organisations will be reached by the industry bodies. The next step will be for all organisations to reach a consensus on the agreement and the approval of the re-introduction of a transparent contribution that all organisations contribute to sustain the livelihood of SAARF and the ASA.”