The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has announced three significant initiatives to ensure faster and stringent action against all advertisements that violate its advertising code and guidelines. ASCI, through National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS), has now started tracking advertisements in print and TV nationally against which complaints are upheld. If they continue to re-appear without removing or changing objectionable portions of the ad, ASCI will report these advertisements to the relevant statutory authorities for action according to the law of the land.
To speed up the decision making process and handle multi-fold increase in complaints due to NAMS, ASCI has introduced an additional Consumer Complaint Council (CCC). As a result, CCC meetings will now be held every week instead of every fortnight. This will further reduce the average complaint adjudication time. The self regulatory body has also appointed Shweta Purandare as Chief Operations Officer (COO) to drive the investigation of complaints, besides heading the complaint redressal and follow-up process.
Commenting on these initiatives ASCI’s Chairman, Arvind Sharma, said, “ASCI has been continually innovatingto protect the interests of the consumers and all these initiatives are steps towards that.”
He further said, “The proactive tracking by NAMS earlier of all newly released ads in print and TV and now of all upheld complaint ads and reporting non-compliance to statutory bodies is likely to help substantially in moving towards the goal of eradicating misleading ads. Appointment of a COO and an additional CCC will go a long way in ensuring speedier and more effective complaint redressal process.”