5 Values and principles governing an ABC

5.4. Self-regulation

On of the most important principles guiding an ABC is self-regulation. There are many definitions of this terms.

Here are a few:

• The system by which an organization or institution deals with its own disciplinary and legal problems, often in private, rather than being publicly regulated by somebody else.
• To function automatically or without outside control.
• The controlling of a process or activity by the people or organizations that are involved in it, rather than by an outside organization.

An industry standard may be imposed (through government legislation/law), or – by contrary – may be developed by the industry players.

A standard which is imposed may be not be so readily accepted, and if it comes with a threat of penalties or sanctions that are enforced, this outside authority diminishes the initiative that self-regulation can bring, while lessening the credibility of the ABC itself.

The obvious – and best – alternative is to create a self-regulatory environment.

From an ABC perspective, self-regulation implies:

• Working together and maximizing the involvement of the industry. The more the number of players involved with standardization, the higher the acceptance of standards within and outside the ABC.
• Be representative. The larger the coverage of all industry sectors (in our case: advertisers, media agencies, media companies), the better. Diverse membership yields more credibility.
• Seeking common goals. One can work with others only if there are commonly accepted goals.
• Setting objectives with the lowest common denominator, or broadest impact and acceptance in mind. The objectives to be achieved must take into consideration a minimal platform, where acceptance by members is as close to unanimity as possible.
• Imposing the rules. A rule is as good as it is applied. In other words, the work of self-regulation must consider the set of necessary controls and actions to be taken against those who are breaching them.

The well understood and applied self-regulation within an ABC is instrumental in building trust among members and market players. It makes the future work much more easier and straightforward.

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