The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants social media platforms to do more to protect Australian businesses.

    In 2022, Australians reported losses of more than $80m to scams initiated on social media alone. This is up from reported losses of $56m in 2021 and $27m in 2020. 

    “It is clear that social media companies are not doing enough to stop their own users from falling victim to scammers on their platforms, especially as we understand that only a fraction of people scammed ever report it,” says ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb. 

    Australian businesses rely on social media platforms to advertise their products and engage with consumers. SMEs are increasingly reliant on platforms like Facebook and Instagram for targeted, easy-to-use and cost-effective advertising solutions. 

    “Advertisers have raised concerns about being unable to choose the best services to suit their needs because of the lack of transparency and accuracy of advertising performance data provided to them by social media platforms,” says Cass-Gottlieb.

    The latest ACCC interim report for the Digital Platform Services Inquiry highlights the growth of the influencer marketing industry and raises concerns about inadequate disclosure of sponsored posts by influencers and brands.

    “Consumers are unable to make informed choices about purchases when endorsements and sponsored posts are not clearly disclosed,” says Cass-Gottlieb. 

    The ACCC launched a sweep earlier this year to identify misleading testimonials and endorsements by social media influencers. 

    “These harms to consumers and small businesses are exacerbated when coupled with what many users consider a lack of effective dispute resolution mechanisms with social media platforms,” says Cass-Gottlieb.

    Journey to net zero

    This new AICD guide is a simple climate governance roadmap for NFP directors seeking to make a difference at a local level. 

    Many NFP directors are concerned about climate change, but unsure how to get started with competing priorities and limited resources. 

    The AICD has developed a practical guide with PwC. 

    Climate Governance for NFP Directors: Starting the Journey to Net Zero includes tools and specific examples to take action to address climate change — such as reducing energy consumption or transitioning to renewable energy sources. 

    Specifically, the guide covers the following:

    1. Understand and improve your organisation’s carbon footprint
    2. Understand your climate governance obligations 
    3. Consider stakeholder views on climate
    4. Assess climate risks and developing mitigation measures
    5. Consider climate opportunities

    Transition of Power

    The energy transformation acceleration will strain the ability to deliver capital projects on time and on budget.

    The International Energy Agency forecasts capital spending on the energy transition will grow to between US$3 trillion and US$5 trillion annually by 2030 — two to four times current outlay. 

    The added strain from any surge in spending on renewable energy infrastructure, energy-efficient buildings and clean transportation may overwhelm companies managing capital projects and put those projects at risk. 

    Energy and natural resources companies will bear the brunt of the transition. 

    A Bain & Co survey shows a majority of contractors see an opportunity to reduce costs by five to 10 per cent by addressing key challenges facing major energy projects. 

    Leadership teams that develop more collaborative relationships with contractors will be best placed to navigate the challenging transition. 

    The alternative — sticking to current management practice — is riskier. 

    Companies that fail to prepare their organisations for a stepchange in demand will find it even more difficult in the future to meet their performance goals, says Bain. 

    Focus on reporting

    ASIC has underlined the need to assess the impact of uncertain market and economic conditions on reporting for full and half-years ending 30 June 2023.

    “Directors should ensure that investors are properly informed on the impact of changing and uncertain economic and market conditions, net zero targets and other developments on financial position and future performance,” says ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press. 

    Areas for attention include:

    • Asset values
    • Provisions
    • Solvency and going concern assessments
    • Events occurring after year end and before completing the financial report Disclosures in the financial report and operating and financial review (OFR)
    • Impact of a new accounting standard for insurers. 

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