At the recent Board Meeting of The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), Srinivasan K. Swamy, Chairman and Managing Director, R K SWAMY BBDO Pvt. Ltd., was unanimously elected Chairman of the Board of ASCI. As a member of the Board of Governors for close to ten years, he has been an advertising professional for nearly four decades and has provided active support to Self-Regulation.
Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Vice Chairperson, CIABC was elected Vice-Chairman; and Shashidhar Sinha, CEO, Media Brands Pvt. Ltd. was re-appointed the Honorary Treasurer.
Other members of the Board of Governors are Al Rajwani (Managing Director & Chief Executive, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Healthcare Ltd.), Benoy Roychowdhury (Executive Director, HT Media Ltd.), Dev Bajpai (Exe. Director Legal & Corporate Affairs & Company Secretary, Hindustan Unilever Ltd.), D. Shivakumar (Chairman & CEO, PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd.), Gurmit Singh (Vice President & MD, Yahoo India Pvt. Ltd.), N.S. Rajan (Global Partner & MD, Ketchum Sampark Pvt. Ltd.), Narendra Ambwani (Director, Agro Tech Foods Ltd.), Prashant Singh (MD, Neilsen India Region), Raj Jain (CEO, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd.), Rohit Gupta (President – Network Sales & International Business, Sony Pictures Networks India P. Ltd.), S.K. Palekar (Adjunct Professor & Advisor – Executive Education, Institute of Management Technology), Subhash Kamath (Managing Partner, BBH Comms India Pvt. Ltd.) and Sunil Lulla (Chairman & Managing Director, Grey Worldwide India P. Ltd.).
Benoy Roychowdhury, the outgoing Chairman of ASCI said , “It has been quite an exhilarating year for ASCI. ASCI completed 30 glorious years on 21st October 2015. We entered into the second year of collaboration with the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) and processed more than 1000 complaints against misleading advertisements received through Department of Consumer Affairs portal: Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA - gama.gov.in). Encouraged by the success of the Mobile App, we launched a WhatsApp Number +91 77100 12345 for consumers to send in complaints conveniently. ASCI continues to grow from strength to strength and as a Chairman for 2015-16 I am very happy to have been an enabler for this journey.”
The incoming Chairman, Srinivasan K. Swamy said, “It is indeed an honor to be elected as Chairman of ASCI which has progressively contributed to effective self-regulation in advertising content. We are confident that the marketing and advertising sectors, industry bodies, regulators, consumer activists and the general public will actively seek ASCI’s services and make self-regulation more relevant in the increasing competitive environment. ASCI will continue to engage with stakeholders such as Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MORTH) to propagate self-regulation, in addition to of course DoCA. It is heartening to note that the Parliamentary Standing Committee has recognized the role played by ASCI and have recommended that ASCI should be given some legal teeth. I am therefore quite excited to take over the mantle as ASCI Chairmanship at this time when so many important things are on the anvil to strengthen further the principles of self-regulation. I do hope to make 2016-17, yet another landmark year.”
During the year 2015-16, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) constituted by ASCI as an independent body (which has majority of its members drawn from civil society members like consumer activists, lawyers, doctors, educationists) met 49 times and deliberated on complaints against a total of 1389 advertisements. Of these, complaints against 891 advertisements were upheld, while 497 were not upheld and complaint against one advertisement was considered to be non-issue.