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Honest Ads: 50 Years in Advertising Industry Self-Regulation

On May 18, 1971, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, and the Association of National Advertisers, in partnership with the Council of Better Business Bureaus, joined to create a mechanism of independent self-regulation for advertising in the U.S.

For the last 50 years in the advertising industry, companies have held each other to a higher standard. In response to the pressures and criticisms of consumerism that had mounted during the previous decade, in 1971 the advertising industry created a mechanism of independent self-regulation that has stood the test of time and technological innovation.

On May 18, 2021 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation, the founders of what former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Robert Pitofsky calls “the best example of self-regulation that I am aware of in American industry,” talked about why this system works, the challenges faced by advertisers and regulators through the years, and the memorable moments in advertising’s history that we will not forget.

Steve Pacheco, President & CEO of the American Advertising Federation along with Marla Kaplowiz, President & CEO of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies), Bob Kuidice, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of National Advertisers, and Laura Brett, Vice President of the National Advertising Division of the BBB National Programs participated in a discussion moderated by Eric Reicin, President & CEO of the BBB National Programs.

Watch the Event Recording Below

AAF Omaha