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For any consumer who may experience a problem regarding their dealings with an ADMA member, there is an independent process to deal with complaints made pursuant to the ADMA Code of Practice. All such unresolved complaints are considered by the Code Authority under the auspices of the Code Authority Charter.
This process is free for consumers and provides a speedy resolution to consumer issues with subsequent guidance not only to the member concerned but to all members and industry generally as the Code Authority will issue de-identified guidance notes relating to decisions made. These determinations will help industry to navigate the increasingly complex regulatory and ethical landscape.
The Code Authority is an independent complaints handling body. Its job is to see that marketers and advertisers comply with the Code and investigate any unresolved consumer complaints. In short, it offers consumers an impartial process to deal with complaints.
The Code Authority comprises seven members: an independent chairman, three consumer representatives and three industry representatives. It provides an efficient and quick avenue for addressing consumer complaints in a cost-effective forum.
All Code Authority members are experts in the new regulatory and ethical landscape (see bios).
Code Authority will now charge members and non-members to review complaints in a cost-effective forum. Non-members may elect to have matters considered by the Code Authority but will pay a higher fee than members. The fees charged can be found in the Code Authority Charter, they are nominal and are based on a cost-recovery model. Fees are not designed to create a revenue stream.
The Code Authority contains equal numbers of industry and independent/consumer representatives who will be fair and impartial in their dealings with marketers and consumers. Industry representatives have been selected for their stature within the marketing and advertising community as holding high standards of conduct/ethics amongst their peers. The consumer representatives will naturally have consumers’ interests at heart. The Chair is not from the marketing and advertising industry but is a former regulator, having headed the Trade Practices Commission (as it then was), in NSW.
If a Code Authority member has a conflict of interest in considering a complaint they are obliged to absent themselves from the consideration.
For more information see:
Vice President - Head of Compliance & Ethics, Australia & New Zealand
Vice President - Head of Compliance & Ethics, Australia & New Zealand
Graeme Alexander is the Head of Compliance and Ethics for American Express in Australia and New Zealand. He has over 12 years experience in designing and managing compliance programs & strategies.
In his current role, Graeme is the Anti-Money Laundering officer as well as the Privacy Officer for the American Express businesses in Australia.
Prior to his work with American Express, Graeme managed a number of Compliance Programs for a range of financial services organisations including Merrill Lynch, GE and Toyota Finance. He is a Certified Compliance professional and also holds the Certified Internal Auditor designation.
Robin Brown brings 30 years of experience in consumer and business regulatory affairs to ADMA’s Code Authority with considerable experience in dispute resolution.
He spent 10 years as the chair and chief executive of Australia’s national consumer body, the Australian Federation of Consumer Organisations. He also spent five years as an associate member of the board of the Australian Telecommunications Authority (AUSTEL) and oversaw its privacy study.
Robin has been involved in the establishment of industry-specific dispute handling mechanisms in the banking, life insurance, health insurance and telecommunications sectors, including four years as a member of the Life Insurance Industry Complaints Panel. He was a member of the inaugural Banking Industry Ombudsman Council. In addition, Robin worked as a consumer affairs consultant including on reforms to the insurance industry and to government complaint handling systems
In recent years Robin has been involved in efforts to advance consumer protection and competition regulation in a number developing countries. He instigated the non-profit Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance (www.femag.org.au) of which he is Deputy Chair. FEMAG works on consumer protection in developing countries with governments, industry and consumer organisations and consults in NZ and Australia.
Other current appointments:
• Psychology Board Australia – ACT, Tasmania, Victoria – Community Member
• Dental Board Australia – Community Member
Former appointments include:
• ACT Council of Social Service – President
• Australian Consumers’ Association (Choice) Council
• ACT Community Inclusion Board
• Australian Conservation Foundation Council
• Consumers International – UN Consumer Protection Guidelines Consultant
• Code Committee - Australian Council for International Development
Qualifications: BA, Master Public Policy (ANU)
Neill Buck spent 20 years as Managing Director of a consulting company that works in the areas of risk, governance, compliance, corruption, strategy, integrity and complaints. His clients operate in most countries of the world. Neill appears as an expert witness in the areas of risk, compliance and training. He designs and conducts training for governments, boards, executives and staff.
Neill spent 15 years as a senior regulator. He was the Director of the Australian Trade Practices Commission in NSW, CEO of the Australian Franchising Regulator, a General Manager of Comcare (Australian government OHS regulator/insurer) and Director of Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
Neill is a Certified Compliance Professional Fellow, Life Member of GRC Institute, Certified Risk Professional Fellow, Certified Practicing Risk Manager, Fellow of the Customer Service Institute and holds a Graduate Certificate in Compliance. Neill has trained most compliance and many risk officers in Australia and across the region over the past 20 years. He has developed, reviewed and facilitated courses on risk and strategy and related matters for the AICD for the last 13 years. Neill has chaired and has been a member of a number of private sector and government boards. Neill started his working life as an international professional tennis coach.
Sam works in Public Policy and Government Affairs at Google Australia, with a focus on privacy, safety and security. She is an accredited mediator, technology lawyer and policy advisor with over fifteen years experience working within the digital media and technology sectors both in Europe and Australia.
Prior to joining Google, Sam established the regulatory function at the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Australia and worked as General Counsel and Asia Pacific Legal Director for Yahoo!'s Australian business. Sam also spent ten years working in London as a corporate attorney for Microsoft where she supported the MSN business through a period of exponential growth and contributed to the launch of the Xbox consoles across Europe.
Sam has acted as a media spokesperson and is a regular public speaker on trends and challenges affecting the digital industry.
Sophie oversees regulatory and legal compliance at Foxtel. Sophie was responsible for reviewing Foxtel’s approach to privacy compliance in the lead up to the new privacy laws in early 2014, and continues to manage privacy related issues across the business advising key stakeholders across the IT, Marketing, Customer Service, Sales and Risk areas. Sophie has worked in a number of regulatory, policy and legal roles in Australia, the UK and Hong Kong primarily for private sector media and technology businesses but also for the Telecommunications Regulator in the UK. Sophie is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of NSW and in England and Wales. Sophie is a member of the Legal and Policy Committee of ASTRA; and the Technical and Planning Committee of ASTRA.
Victoria has had extensive experience, both as a Regulator and in other roles, in the legal, policy, compliance and operational aspects of media and communications regulation in Australia and overseas and has overseen the creation and operation of Codes of Practice and Statutory Codes in Broadcasting, Value Added Telecommunications, Mobile services, Telecommunications Consumer Protection and the Classification of films, computer/video games and publications. Victoria also has extensive experience of the Advertising Industry Codes of Practice.
Victoria also has lengthy professional experience of the management of government statutory agencies, policy and strategy development at industry and government levels, government interface, consumer affairs, organisational capacity building, governance and legal services, especially in the areas of Intellectual Property and Media/Communications Law.
Victoria is currently Consumer Director of Communications Compliance Ltd (overseeing the compliance of telecommunications entities with the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code), Independent Reviewer for the Advertising Standards Bureau and Principal of Omni Media (international communications consultancy specialising in regulatory policy and operations).
From 2009 to 2015 she was Convener of the Classification Review Board. Victoria has chaired federal government committees of policy review on Copyright Convergence and Digital Radio. From 1994 to 2009 she was Chair of the Telephone Information Services Standards Council regulating value added telecommunications services.
She is a director of Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), Media Access Australia and the Communications Law Centre at UTS. She is former President of the Communications and Media Law Association and former Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive.
Victoria holds an MA in Government from Sydney University, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Human Rights degree from Sydney University.
Allan Asher, a Barrister and Solicitor is a lifelong campaigner for consumer protection, human rights, fairness and equitable development. Currently serving as Chair of the Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance (FEMAG) and a member of the Board of Choice, Allan is a visitor at the ANU Regulatory Institutions Network. He is also involved in consumer protection and governance projects across Asia the Pacific and Southeast Asia.
Allan has special interest in information technology and energy market reform and regulation. He has worked throughout the world on projects related to governance, consumer protection and regulation for development.
Allan was Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and a senior executive of The Australian Consumers Association (Choice), a board member of the UK Office of Fair Trading and Commonwealth Ombudsman. Allan was Chief Executive of energy watch, a government established body focusing on energy policy and consumer protection in the UK.