Advertisement Standardization Management Framework for Local Government in Malaysia
Tun Mohd Izlizam Bahardinα, Zuraini Aliasσ & Mokhtar Abdullahρ
This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for the management of advertisement standards in local governments in Malaysia and how it relates to industry’s compliance with advertisement regulations. In this paper a special case is considered on the practices of advertisement management by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Selangor which is one of the local governments in Malaysia. Industry players in media industry in Petaling Jaya district involves mostly in application for advertisement business license, cleaning of advertisement, law enforcement, and advertisement permission and planning approval. In this study, there are two other factors that may also influence the level of industry’s compliance with advertisement regulations, namely, technology platform provided by the Local Government for dissemination of advertisement regulations and guidelines and human resources capability of the Local Government in sharing the information pertaining to regulations and guidelines for industry players. From literature review, these two mediating factors seem to support the existence of the relationship between advertisement management and industry’s compliance with advertisement regulations. Since the study involving advertisement management and its relations with other possible factors is still at infancy stage, particularly in Malaysia, there is not much work done previously on this research issue in the literature. An empirical study on the strength of the relationships between the strategic factors considered in this study would give a more conclusive evidence which may help policy makers in the local government to come up with better guidelines and quality services related to the requirement for compliance with advertisement standards.
Keywords: local government, advertisement management, industry compliance, human resources, technology.
Author α:: Universiti Selangor, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, Shah Alam, Selangor.
σ: Universiti Selangor, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, Shah Alam, Selangor.
ρ: Time Brain Sdn Bhd, Petaling jaya, Selangor.
A significant shift in operations and the globalization of businesses across conventional boundaries characterized the new globalizing period. New innovations in the media have brought pace to business; they have to be carried out in a quick manner. Companies should also be competitive globally because new products are available to companies continuously. In addition, business transactions are becoming more innovative and versatile as new media deliver many different ways to reach customers. E-Bay and Amazon.com are examples of the increasing use by companies and consumers in developing countries of online sales platforms. The tremendous empowerment of customers as global citizens is one of the most significant impacts of globalization in the business world (Yang et al., 2019).
It goes without saying that in the 21st century the customer became more powerful and important than in the past. Customer loyalty is meaningless with the multitude of media and products available. The consumer is no longer bound by the rules to any specific brand, according to Thorson & Duffy (2011). Because there are several search engines available and an incredibly wide range of products, a customer is now informed over what he wants to see, hear and purchase (Thorson & Duffy, 2011).
In Malaysia, globalization of the advertising industry landscape is changing from day to day, where advertising plays an important role to convey the desired message about certain products or services based on market conditions, competitors and feedbacks from the customers (Bindah, 2019). Consequently, industrial advertising media has moved away from traditional media to digital media in order to reach the audience more effectively through many distribution channels and strategies (Rahim & Osman, 2018).
As the third level government of Malaysia, the function of a local government is to directly tackle advertising issues through implementing the best practices in organizing, controlling, managing and planning control about advertisement media according to the standardization of advertisement management. A systematic review done by Bahardin et al. (2019) on literatures related to local governments in Malaysia found that the advertisement issues had not directly being discussed and very few are looking into income generation via tax and non-tax effort.
Additionally, clients or consumers mostly prefer the advanced types of advertisement media in displaying, publishing or delivering the short message or information about products or services within a short time in the most effective ways. This means that advertisement media patterns will grow rapidly and the volume of ads will increase daily (Rahim & Osman, 2018). For example, the increasing number of digital outdoor advertisement media shows the changes in the new media technology in advertising industry.
Advertising itself is insightful and persuasive in nature; it can use the mainstream or digital media to convince people to buy goods and services, advertising can be intended to promote or to promote a new product.
This paper is about providing an authoritative response to the call for an establishment of a holistic framework for describing the linkages between standardization of advertisement management by local government and expected compliance by industry players with advertisement regulations. Other factors such as dissemination of information on advertising standards and regulations by the local government employees as well as technology platform may also have some influence on the compliance level.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives of the study are as follows;
- To formulate a conceptual framework, linking several factors that influence industry’s compliance with advertisement standards
- To measure the influence of advertisement standardization practices by local government on the compliance of industry players with the advertisement regulations
- To verify the role of technology platform and human resources as mediating factors in establishing the influence of advertisement standardization practices on industry’s compliance with the advertisement regulations
This paper is structured as follows; first, we review the previous works based on the literature and highlight the existing arguments on causal relationships in the advertisement standardi- zation-compliance framework. Second, we formulate the conceptual model, which offers a holistic framework for future research. Third, we address a set of propositions with regard to the roles of human resources and provision of technology platform by the local government in determining the level of compliance by industry players with advertisement regulations and standards.
- LITERATURE REVIEW
The AMA describes advertisement to be "the placement of ads and compelling messages in time or space in any mass media purchased by companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies and individuals who wish to educate or convince the public about their goods, services, organizations and ideas on a specific market or target audience." The American Heritage Dictionary defines advertising as "the company to draw public attention to a product or service, as is achieved by print, broadcast or electronic media advertisements." (Jefkins, 1992). It is ' any way of presenting and promoting ideas, goods and services that are normally paid for by a designated sponsor ' (Dominick, 2013).
Advertisement management is a planned management mechanism designed to control and monitor different promotional activities involved in a system that interacts with the target market of a brand and that ultimately affects the buying decisions of the customer. Advertisement Management from a local government perspective, as described in this study "The principles of administrative works for providing commercial license with different types of advertisement media, according to which industrial advertising should have referred in accordance with the advertising (local government) by-laws of 2007 to any definition of advertising."
The advertising is, on the other hand, the advertisement meant to be public or popular (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004), which means publicity. Therefore, in communication advertising plays a crucial role. Advertising seems to be everywhere people go, from net surfing to taking a bus ride. Advertisements appear on several websites and is available from soft drinks to concert tickets in many unusual places. Advertisements are now more and more common as more individuals and businesses use it as a tool to make customer aware about their products or services.
Basically, advertisement management deals with the planning control of records. Hence, advertisement management requires a good practice in handling, controlling, and managing of advertisements with specific focus on planning control of advertisement, business licensing, law enforcement and environmental work (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004).
- TYPES OF ADVERTISEMENT MEDIA
4.1 Outdoor Advertisement Media
The local government can generate more income from revenue upon granting license for outdoor advertisement activities whereby outdoor advertising media shall make use of different features to gain customer attention, specifically along highways, business or commercial areas, buildings and others. The billboards, kiosks, and events and tradeshows are an effective means to convey the message of the company (Different Types of Advertising, 2012; Mutsikiwa et al., 2013).
The kiosks are a simple way of delivering goods and provide information for people. Another way of marketing the company is to organize events such as trade shows and demonstrations to promote the product or service. Outdoor advertisement media is therefore a powerful tool for marketing.
4.2 Printed Media Advertisement Media
The printed media have long been used for advertising. Newspapers and magazines are common advertisement modes across the globe for different companies (Everett, 2011). Companies also can advertise their goods using printed media by means of brochures and fliers. The newspapers and magazines sell space and various factors decide the cost. The space size, the page and the paper type define the advertising expense. The advertisement on the front page would therefore be more costly than on the inner pages. Similarly, an ad for the newspaper's glossy supplement will cost more than the standard quality paper. Printed marketing has historically been the only way to communicate messages to customers (Fill & Jamieson, 2011; Terkan, 2014). Nevertheless, recently the news has become the fashionable way to pass on your message to the customer through e-mail, SMS, blogs, television sites and company websites. Nevertheless, it is important that the message in one medium corresponds to the message in the other. You may use, for example, the same logo as in your emails on your website. Your TV advertisements should also carry the same message as your websites and blogs.
4.3 Business Premises Advertisement Media
The local government needs to identify the classification of advertisements in compliance with regulations that cover offices, banks, commercial, industrial facilities, retail facilities, building societies, stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets, theatres, factories, restaurants, cafes, etc., in order to permit standardization management in business premises. The planning authority will regulate the advertisement media process by establishing standard advertisement requirements for any type of commercial media displayed in the business premises and in electronic / non-electronic form. The present advertisement control system, including content, language, size and others, can be defined in general. (The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007, 2007).
4.4 Broadcast Advertisement Media
This kind of advertisement media is widely used worldwide. It involves advertisements from the TV, the radio or the internet (Ahmad, 2018; Love, 2015; Sanje, 2012; Wright et al., 2010). Television advertising is popular with a large audience. The cost of advertisement media depends on the length of the advertisement and the time the advertisement is written. Premium advertisements, for example, would be more expensive than regular advertisements. Radio advertisement is not what it used to be with the introduction of television and the Internet, but advertisements still have an audience. In several sections of society, radio jingles are common and help sell the products. The question is, how can the respective Broadcasting Advertising Agencies build an integrated system? Is the authority to issue any business license relevant to commercial media broadcasting under the supervision of the local government?
4.5 Digital Signage Advertisement Media
There have been two factors growing demand for digital signage: i) enhanced economics and ii) enhanced technology. The popularity of digital signage has improved by a rapid decline in display quality and network costs, as well as flexibility and network efficiency. Digital signage in Malaysia is shifting to the affordable DSL technology which provides greater coverage (Hossain et al., 2016; Rahim & Osman, 2018).
4.6 Public Service Advertisement Media
Public service advertisements are intended for public purposes as the name suggests (Chan & Chang, 2013; Goodwill, 2000; Jones, 2012; Singh & Dr. Anurag Singh, 2017). There are a number of important topics like dengue, political integrity, energy conservation, analphabetic, violence, etc. that need increased public awareness. This form of advertisement media is a very powerful tool for conveying a message recently.
V. ISSUES RELATED TO LACK OF COMPLIANCE WITH ADVERTISEMENT REGULATIONS
Based on my observation, there are five main reasons why the existing advertisement management leads to the lack of compliance by industry players;
- Most types of advertisement media are not generally handled in accordance with the advertisement by-laws or general regulations or specific statutory instruments
- The local government only has a very basic outline of the organization and administration of the advertising industry in Selangor
- The types of advertisement media is an open market which is too wide for the local government. The local government doesn’t have capability to control the business without any limitations from the government
- The traditional concepts and practices of advertisement media are not sufficiently understood and because of this, the various advertisement media has gone well beyond these guidelines
- Different interpretations of advertisement media in the Selangor advertisement by-laws
5.1 The Need for Regulations and Guidelines for Advertisement Media
Advertisement management requires focus on advertisement media based on the market and trends with specific objectives, priorities, and measurement of results. The local government needs to look at proposed government policies, laws, activities of service, human resources, and technology, etc. (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). Advertisement management will also determine the performance of industrial advertisement media, aiming at standardization of advertisement management and compliance with advertisement regulations.
While the nature of regulations and the institutions used to create them may vary, as shown in Figure 1, the regulatory process generally consists of three stages: creating regulations, monitoring for compliance, and enforcing regulations (Castro, 2011). Monitoring and enforcing regulations are important parts of the regulatory process.
Figure 1: Three stages of the regulatory process
The regulations of agencies under the Federal, State and local government can also be used to protect the advertisement media and be beneficial for consumers. The command and control system for advertisement management should sustain local government standards, advertisement by-laws, local advertisement rules and regulations, and guideline of advertisement. For instance, England has the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 while Northern Ireland has The Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 which provide the regulation of advertisement under the planning control.
There are good reasons for this because the advertising industry with advertisement standardization management principles effectively have fewer problems with industry’s compliance with advertisement regulations. The businesses must operate to fulfil the demands from their customers or clients. The reason most often given for this compliance will affect the performance in advertising industry.
Obtaining a license is considered the indicator of a good advertisement standardization manage- ment practice by the local government. Besides, it is important to discuss the advertisement media to learn and instil discipline in advertisement management. Furthermore, there is a need to define more types of advertisement media in the advertisement regulations.
5.2 Relationship between Advertisement Management and Advertisement Media
In order to increase client satisfaction, Abdul Mutalib (2014) posited that local government must introduce organizational reform. He cited the example of the New Public Management (NPM) that was introduced with the purpose to increase public service efficiency. Nevertheless, previous studies have also found that even though various efforts had been implemented to enhance local government service, the results were not very significant with the local government workforce continuing to display inefficiency and more worryingly, be mired in corruption (Alam Siddiquee, 2006; Razak, 2011).
Overall, this study has also found 27 scholarly articles that dealt with development issues in municipal districts in Malaysia. This exhibits that the local community is very concerned about the development, economic growth, and infrastructure in their locality. This review also ascertained that issues related to organizational management, safety and security, laws, taxes and advertisement were less emphasized.
In order to establish a successful and sustainable ecosystem of the said issue, the authority needs to understand the needs of regulation. Regulation can be defined as a rule or order issued by an executive authority or regulatory agency of a government and having the force of law. Rules made by a government or other authority in order to control the way something is done or the way people behave (Michael et al., 2015). Regulations also can be defined as guidance or references to comply for correct or right action (Münstermann & Weitzel, 2008).
5.3 Development of Constructs
5.3.1 Relationship between Standardization of Advertisement Management and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations
A study by Beimborn et al. (2009) found that standardization has successfully improved efficiency, quality and control of their advisory process as well as compliance rate. This means that by having standardization, the goal can be achieved and marked by the high compliance rate. Moreover, findings by Spence et al. (2015) proved that regulation compliance shows positive relationship with standardization.
Therefore, a direct relationship between standardization of advertisement management and compliance with advertisement regulations can be established. In this study, standardization of advertisement management is considered as an independent variable, while compliance with advertisement regulations as a dependent variable. This is justified because the local government is responsible for providing the management system of advertisement media and also control the unlawful advertisements by industry players. In addition, the local government takes the responsibility for ensuring advertisement regulations are adhered to as well as enhancing the level of trust and confidence of industry players and consumers at large. In addition, the standards set up similar to a Quality Management System may constitute a benchmark for advertisement standardization best practices, not only for internal processes in the local government itself but also for the other local governments pertaining to advertisement management practices. The standardization processes will involve the creation of specific ‘codes’ and ‘classifications’ for identification purposes of some particular type advertisement media.
5.3.2 Role of Human Resources in Standardization of Advertisement Management
The employees at a local authority are the ones who provide services to prospective clients. Their services include sharing of information related to compliance with guidelines and standards of advertisement practices. This kind of services supplied to the clients are sometimes more complex with the kinds of advertisement standards involved. This requires combination of human resources capability (e.g., soft skills, service quality, professionalism etc.) and their knowledge related to the services rendered. The purpose of the training is to give the employees the opportunity to perform their job accordingly.
Previous studies have found that even though various efforts had been implemented to enhance local government service, the results were not very significant with the local government workforce as they continue to display inefficiency and more worryingly, be mired in corruption (Alam Siddiquee, 2006; Razak, 2011). Rules made by a local government or other authority are to control the way something is done or the way people behave (Michael et al., 2015). Regulations also can be defined as guidance or references to comply for correct or right action (Münstermann & Weitzel, 2008).
For a local government, emulating Quality Management System such as ISO 9000 in setting up standards of operating procedures for a business process may help the standardization process for advertisement practices. According to Quality Management System (ISO, 2016), “standards are documents, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context”. This explains why standardization of a business process can be used as a tool for the compliance with regulation(s) by business clients. In other words, by setting standards, clients or related parties have to align and follow, thus, comply with the regulation(s).
Therefore, the roles of human resources in a local government are not only involvement in the standardization of advertisement management practices but also having a proper training in providing professional services to the prospective clients from advertising industry with the right information regarding compliance with the advertisement standards. With respect to this issue, the human resources can be considered as a mediating factor that assists the industry players (i.e., advertisers) towards compliance with advertisement standards set by the local authority (Wood, 2006).
5.3.3 Role of Technology in Standardization of Advertisement Management
Technology is an effective means of obtaining all advertisers information instantaneously by the local government (Agbo, 2015). To help assess the effectiveness of advertising standardization practices and to suggest changes in the local government's adaptation to management and regulatory standards, it should define techniques as tools to support such advertisement standardization activities in local government. This in turn led to the provision of relevant information related to advertisement standards, quality management and regulatory issues, which provide much of the precise information needed by media industry. The technology is regarded in this study as a mediating variable between standardization management and advertisement compliance.
The role of technology also seems to act as a relevant platform for advertisement networking, incorporating advertising devices and related software, storage, security, and so on. As a local government, they must be able to link between technology and organizational effectiveness in supporting and expanding solutions for industry, particularly, advertising industry.
- THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Figure 2 below depicts the graphical view of conceptual framework in this study. Standardization of Advertisement Management (SAM) will be the Independent Variable (IV), and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations (CAR) will be the Dependent Variable (DV). In this study, two Mediating Variables are chosen, i.e. Human Resources (HR) and Technology (TECH).
Figure 2: The Conceptual Framework
Based on the conceptual framework above, the following hypotheses statements are developed:
H1: There is a significant relationship between Standardization of Advertisement Management and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations
H2: There is a significant relationship between Standardization of Advertisement Management and Human Resources
H3: There is a significant relationship between Standardization of Advertisement Management and Technology
H4: There is a significant relationship between Human Resources and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations
H5: There is a significant relationship between Technology and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations
H6: Human Resources mediates significantly in the relationship between Standardization of Advertisement Management and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations
H7: Technology mediates significantly in the relationship between Standardization of Advertisement Management and Compliance with Advertisement Regulations
This paper presented a conceptual framework for advertisement management in local governments. More specifically, the framework signifies a possible relationship between standardization of advertisement management practices and the compliance of advertisement media industry with regulations associated with the advertisement standards enforced by the local government. Creation of advertisement standards is similar to the setting up of a Quality Management System such as ISO 9000 through a proper process of documentation of specific codes and classifications for certain types of advertisement media.
In this paper, the roles of human resources in the local government and the use of technology platform for dissemination of relevant information pertaining to advertisement standards and guidelines were presented. These two variables act as mediating factors in the relationship between standardization of advertisement management and industry’s compliance with the advertisement regulations and guidelines.
It is expected that the proposed research framework can be verified empirically through a quantitative research approach that should be carried out in the future.
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