The Australian Competition Tribunal's decision to uphold the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's revocation of the accreditation system for the advertising industry was welcomed today by the ACCC.

"The Tribunal has agreed with the ACCC that there has been a material change of circumstances and accordingly has revoked the authorisation," ACCC Chairman, Professor Allan Fels, said today.

"In order to allow the industry to adjust to the new conditions, the Tribunal has directed that the revocation not take effect until 3 February 1997.

"The accreditation system, authorised in 1978, was designed to facilitate trading arrangements between advertising agencies and the major media owners.

"In return for restrictions on ownership, accredited advertising agencies have favourable credit arrangements for advertisements placed in the major media. The system was run by the Media Council of Australia.

"Although anti competitive, the Trade Practices Commission authorised the arrangement because it provided encouragement for the development of small agencies and for the establishment of advertising codes and standards.

"After a review in 1995, the TPC decided that the benefits to the public no longer outweighed the anti-competitive detriment and accordingly revoked the authorisation. This decision was appealed to the A.C.T.

"The Commission is currently studying the 160-page judgement issued late today and may comment next week. It is apparent that the Tribunal in this, as in other fields, has asserted the great importance of principles of competition policy being applied to achieve the best outcome for the Australian economy for consumers of all kinds."