Self-regulation in ad industry remains under Cha-cha, lawmaker assures

By Jose Cielito Reganit

May 11, 2024, 2:44 pm

<p>Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez. <em>(Photo courtesy of Rep. Rodriguez FB Page)</em></p>

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Rodriguez FB Page)

MANILA – Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said Saturday that self-regulation in the advertising industry would remain under the proposed amendments to restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution.

He made the statement in the wake of concerns aired by stakeholders during a Senate hearing on the amendment proposals on Thursday.

Rodriguez, chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Constitutional Amendments, pointed out that under the Charter change resolutions, foreign ownership of advertising companies may be altered by Congress from the present 70 percent Filipino and 30 percent foreign.

“We are focused on the ownership issue. There is no plan to disturb whatever internal arrangement existing in the ad industry, like self-regulation. I will not support any proposal to change that,” he said.

On Thursday, Ad Standards Council legal counsel Rudolph Jularbal said foreign ownership would not be a problem so long as self-regulation in the local ad sector remains in place.

He noted that if self-regulation “is functional, regardless of the ownership of advertising agencies, content will be regulated effectively.”

Rodriguez also allayed concerns that foreign ownership does not add value to an ad agency.

“The infusion of additional funds to a business organization, whether in the ad industry or any other sector of the economy, always adds value to that entity,” he said.

“Technology transfer is another factor that would enhance the operation of such entity, along with the availability of foreign human resource or expertise in case it is needed.”

Some Senate resource persons also raised concerns about editorial independence, and advertisers dictating content.

Rodriguez assured that editorial independence would be left to the best judgment of ad agencies.

“We will not interfere with editorial judgment. As to the content of an advertisement, that matter is left to the discretion of both the advertiser and his ad agency,” he said. (PNA)