Gail Schimmel, the head of South Africa's advertising self-regulatory body, the Advertising Regulatory Board, recently wrote an article about the top five issues facing advertising self-regulation around the world.
She identified high fat, salt, and sugar food advertising, advertising to children, online gambling, alcohol, and health products as being the top issues. With all of the talk about the differences in advertising regulation around the world, it's interesting to see how the issues that we're thinking about in the United States are so similar to what others are dealing with globally.
This article came out of meetings held last month in Paris by the International Council for Ad Self-Regulation (which I attended on behalf of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance) and the European Advertising Standards Alliance.
Schimmel also pointed to the fact that self-regulatory organizations are increasingly getting complaints related to advertisers that are based in another country -- and that self-regulation needs to address mechanisms for dealing with cross-border complaints.
And if you like Gail's article, and you're looking for some summer reading, she's also a terrific novelist. I just finished her book Marriage Vows and loved it. I figure, if I'm not reading about advertising law, I might as well read books written by an advertising lawyer!