At the first meeting of the newly elected Board of Governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), Goutam Rakshit, Managing Director, Advertising Avenues, was unanimously elected as the Chairman for 2004-05.
Outgoing Chairman N Murali, Joint Managing Director, The Hindu, felt, with Rakshit at the helm, further strengthening of ASCI as the self-regulatory body of the ad industry was assured. Earlier, Rakshit has served as chairman at major industry associations like the AFAA, AAAI, ABC and NRSC.
Ashoke Bijapurkar, Managing Director, FSAS, was elected Vice-Chairman, and Arun Adhikari, Managing Director, HPC of Hindustan Lever, has been appointed as the Honorary Treasurer. Other members of the new Board of Governors are: Advertisers – Ravi Kant (Tata Motors), Bharat Patel (P&G), Bharat Puri (Cadbury); Media – CR Irani (The Statesman), Bharat Kapadia (Chitralekha), G Krishnan (TV Today), N Murali (Kasturi & Sons); Agencies – Sam Balsara (Madison), Madhukar Kamath (Mudra), Ram Sehgal (Everest); Allied Professions – Urmila Jain (Aaren), Dhananjay Keskar (ICFAI) and RA Poddar (Tobacco Institute).
During 2003-04, the Consumer Complaints Council of ASCI upheld 67 per cent of the complaints received, and over 80 per cent of ASCI's rulings were complied with by the ad industry. ASCI's media campaign for raising awareness among the public and its role in ensuring truth in Indian advertising and adherence to social norms have gained widespread support from media. ASCI has created its own website, www.asci.co.in, which also invites public to write on any advertisements that they consider improper, and which they would like ASCI to review.
Rakshit stated, “The focus for the year would be to get every advertising industry body such as AAAI, INS, ISA and IBF to become even more actively involved with the vital issue of self-regulation in advertising so that Indian advertising continues to set standards for the rest of the world.”