ABAC Pre-Vetting Service
Lodge a pre-vetting application via: Online Pre-vetting Application .
The ABAC Pre-vetting Service provides confidential advice to alcohol marketers on whether proposed alcohol marketing communications (including packaging) comply with the ABAC Code. The service is offered on a 'user pays' basis.
Pre-vetters approve, reject or suggest modification to material submitted to them for pre-vetting.
Pre-vetting approval provides some level of assurance, but no guarantee, against the possibility (and costs) of products or marketing being later ordered out of the marketplace – via the independent ABAC complaint processes. The assessment of proposed material against any standards, including the ABAC will necessarily involve a subjective judgment by an individual pre-vetter and as such the ABAC Adjudication Panel may occasionally have a different view and uphold a complaint against material which has been pre-vetted.
To encourage the frank exchange of views within the Service, any opinion expressed by a pre-vetter in respect to a matter which is submitted for pre-vetting is confidential to the advertising agency/advertiser, the pre-vetters, ABAC executive officer and the representative of their respective industry association (if any).
The ABAC Pre-vetting Service is available to any alcohol marketer (signatory or non-signatory) and everyone who uses the service must be familiar with the ABAC Pre-vetting Service Guide and ABAC Rules & Procedures. For example, ABAC signatories are committed to pre-vetting all of their television, radio, cinema and outdoor marketing.
Contacting the ABAC Pre-vetting Service
Lodge a pre-vetting application via: Online Pre-vetting Application.
On lodging a new Pre-vetting application:
- you will automatically be sent a copy of your application and pre-vetter contact details via email
- you will need to send the material you wish to have considered to your allocated pre-vetter (via email or a URL on your application)
- your allocated pre-vetter becomes the ‘lead’ pre-vetter for the application and will manage it though the pre-vetting process until the material is finally approved or rejected
Ongoing work in relation to a campaign should not be submitted via a new online application but is to be sent to the pre-vetter already handling your campaign direct. It is important that you keep a record of your application form so that you can quote your application number and contact your allocated pre-vetter if you wish to have further pre-vetting work undertaken in relation to other material in the same campaign. If you are unable to recall your application number or allocated pre-vetter for an ongoing campaign, please direct your query via firstname.lastname@example.org supplying as much information as possible about previous pre-vetting work undertaken for that campaign.
If you are not a signatory to the ABAC Scheme you will need to complete an Pre-vetting Registration form and email it to your allocated pre-vetter before the work will be completed.
If an application is rejected or given interim approval the outcome will be communicated by email from the pre-vetter handling the application. If an application receives final approval an automatically generated approval document will be emailed direct to you.
Whilst pre-vetters endeavour to have applications completed in less than 4 working days, sometimes this may not be possible and if you require turnaround in less than 4 business days telephone your pre-vetter to request earlier completion. Meetings can be arranged to present materials.
The ABAC Pre-vetting Service operates during normal business hours. We understand that occasionally pre-vetting may be required outside these hours but we ask that contact outside business hours is kept to a minimum. If it is anticipated that out of hours contact is necessary we ask that this is discussed prior with your allocated pre-vetter.
Submission of materials
Agencies are encouraged to send material at an early stage of development to identify possible problems before significant expense is incurred.
ABAC Pre-vetting fees
The ABAC Pre-vetting Service is a user pays service. Pre-vetting services are charged at $135 per half hour for signatories and $200 per half hour for non-signatories (exclusive of GST) plus disbursements at cost.
ABAC Pre-vetting Approval
If a pre-vetting application (or part of an application) is approved, the marketer will be provided with an approval number.
Approval is only given for material to appear in the particular media nominated by the marketer on the pre-vetting application form. If the material is to subsequently appear in different media, it must be re-submitted for approval for the new media.
Approval is given on the basis of the material submitted and it is the responsibility of the agency to re-submit if there are material alterations. Any proposed revisions to existing approved marketing, including packaging, must be discussed with the lead pre-vetter as to whether it needs to be re-submitted for approval as the revisions can materially change the marketing communication . These revisions include, but are not limited to, editing a TV or radio ad to a longer or shorter version of the ad or changing a headline or image in a print or outdoor advertisement.
If a marketing communication is rejected the pre-vetter will advise the applicant and provide their reasons for rejecting the material. If a marketer is dissatisfied with a pre-vetting decision they are encouraged to initially discuss the decision with the pre-vetter. An advertiser may request a review of a pre-vetting decision or choose to revise and resubmit the material.
Review of an ABAC Pre-vetting decision
If a marketer wishes to seek a review of a pre-vetting decision they must complete a Review Application and email it to the ABAC executive officer at email@example.com together with a copy of the pre-vetter's decision, the marketing material that resulted in that decision and any other relevant material provided to the original pre-vetter.
The ABAC executive officer will provide the application and material received from the advertiser to two pre-vetters that did not make the decision that is to be reviewed (Pre-vetting Review Panel). The Pre-vetting Review Panel will consider the materials in consultation with one another but independently of the original pre-vetter.
If the Pre-vetting Review Panel:
- unanimously agrees with the decision, the original pre-vetter is directed to maintain the rejection;
- unanimously disagrees with the decision, the original pre-vetter is directed to issue an approval;
- makes a split decision, the original pre-vetter is directed to maintain the rejection.
The cost of a review will be a flat fee of $500.00. If the decision to be reviewed is complex or involves a large amount of advertising material an additional fee may be charged, however this will be discussed with the marketer after receipt of the request for review and prior to the review being conducted.
Martin has spent most of his working life as an advertising agency Account Director, but it wasn’t always so. Martin graduated from the University of London with an Honours Degree in Physics and Maths and initially worked as a military radar designer. He soon found that wasn’t to his liking and undertook a Masters in Management Studies with a major in Marketing. From there he worked as a brand manager in an American food company before joining the planning department of Foote Cone and Belding London, the agency now known as Publicis Mojo.
On emigrating to Australia Martin worked in various agencies and became a board member of George Patterson Sydney which is now part of Y&R. Martin then helped found a small agency running the Land Rover account. Apart from account management, Martin spent about ten years lecturing advertising for the Advertising Council Australia AdSchool and the University of Sydney’s Master of Marketing Program.
Martin became an ABAC pre-vetter in 2010 which is now his main role along with occasional planning projects for a branding agency.
Ross has been an ABAC pre-vetter since 2014. He has over 40 years experience in the advertising industry developing and implementing marketing communications programs for clients of major multi-national advertising agencies in Australia, UK, New Zealand and Asia. He specialised in FMCG clients including P&G, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Mars. Ross has held various positions in his advertising career, Managing Director, Client Services Director and Group Account Director.
In the 1990s he developed and facilitated the first account management courses for the Advertising Federation of Australia AdSchool (now Advertising Council Australia). In the past 10 years he has been facilitating leadership development programs for a wide range of public and private sector organisations and consults to SMEs in the market research and graphic design sectors.
With over 20 years of marketing, sales and management experience across multiple industries and channels, both in Australia and overseas, Melinda joined ABAC in 2019 as a Pre-vetter.
Melinda started her career in Account Management at a full-service Agency supporting several Global brands before moving to the client-side, where she spent more than a decade at worldwide beauty leader L'Oreal in the USA and Australia, in a variety of Senior Marketing and General Management roles. Most recently, Melinda was the Global Marketing & Sales Director at Grown Alchemist and now focusses her time on her ABAC role, together with consulting to various companies on Marketing & Sales Strategy.