What are self-regulatory organizations (SROs)?
Independent bodies typically set up by the advertising industry, self-regulatory organizations (SROs) regulate the market on a voluntary basis. The vast majority of SROs worldwide are financed by membership fees.
SROs rely on "soft law" (e.g., best practices, guiding principles) to regulate the industry on specific topics and apply standards to ensure that advertisements are ethical. They also offer voluntary dispute resolution mechanisms to avoid resorting to legal action taken by an administrative agency.
SROs typically promote self-regulatory codes of standards and sets of guiding principles governing the content of ads.
SROs assess whether advertising industry players are compliant with applicable self-regulatory standards based on mandate and scope of activities (i.e., legal, decent, honest, truthful, socially responsible, fair, etc.).
“With the emergence of influencer marketing, most SROs across the globe have swiftly developed clear guidance for influencers and marketers to make platforms a more transparent and trusted place for everyone. Some SROs have also invested in a technological approach to monitor social media platforms and influencer marketing with the use of algorithms and Artificial Intelligence,” shares Sibylle Stanciu-Loeckx, Director of The International Council for Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS).
Explore international perspectives from leading self-regulatory organizations and coordinating bodies for advertising self-regulation globally on the topic by downloading the full report: