The Advertising Standards Council of India’s(ASCI) proactive initiatives saw the number of complaints increase five times (YoY) in 2013. Education sector was No. 1 in misleading advertising followed by personal and healthcare category in 2013.
In December 2013, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 87 ads out of 108 advertisements. Health & Personal Care category continued to lead with the highest number of complaints received in December 2013.
In the year 2013, ASCI introduced various initiatives ensuring quicker and stronger actions against all advertisements violating its code. The National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS) helped the self-regulatory body to cast its net wide on the defaulting advertisers, and Online Complaint and Monitoring Service (OCMS) made it convenient and faster for consumers to file complaints against misleading advertisements.
In addition, ASCI also launched online monitoring of ads to track advertisements in the online space and also introduced Suspension Pending Investigation for taking quick action against those advertisements whose continuation may be against public interest. These initiatives resulted in a five-fold increase in the number of complaints.
In 2013, the CCC decided on 1,842 complaints out of which 1,477 were upheld. Out of these misleading advertisements, approximately 40 per cent were the education sector advertisements and 36 per cent from the personal and healthcare category.