The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has bagged the Gold award for their mobile app ‘ASCIonline’ to receive consumer complaints against false advertisements, at the Global EASA Best Practice Awards 2016, held in Athens on May 8, 2017. The Indian self-regulatory body was awarded the prestigious prize for launching the best initiative globally providing “Prompt and efficient complaint handling at no cost to the consumer”. ASCI SecretaryShwetaPurandare represented ASCI at EASA’s Best Practice Awards 2016 during their bi-annual meetings in Athens.
In June 2015, ASCI launched its Consumer Complaint mobile app, ASCIonline, to provide easy and convenient access for lodging complaints, increasing ASCI’s reach across India. With a catchy slogan 'Snap It and App It', the app allows consumersto flag complaints against offensive/misleading/vulgar advertisements. For every complaint, they get real-time auto updates within the app each time the status of the complaint is changed as per progress of the complaint. Keeping the design and interface uncomplicated, clean and user-friendly, ASCI has ensured to rightly “M(obile)–Power” consumers providing the utility to voice against misleading advertisements at their fingertips. This free app is available on Android and iOS platforms, and continues to contribute upto 10% in the total number of complaints received even today.
Srinivasan K. Swamy, Chairman, ASCI, elated with this achievement said, “We are delighted to receive this esteemed honour from EASA for recognizing our efforts towards strengthening ASCI’s role in self-regulation in the country. Continuing with the mission to protect consumers’ interest, ASCI embraced technology to connect with the consumers and curb misleading advertisements. This path-breaking initiative has spurred ASCI’s reach significantly across many smaller cities and towns. The app was also referred to by government departments in India and appreciated for the pro-activeness of ASCI. After three successive wins in the past, acquiring another Gold has further provided cognisance for the SRO on an International platform as well.”
Adding to the global recognitions, ASCI is now a part of the Executive Committee of International Council on Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS), which unites global Self-Regulatory Organisations (SROs) and international industry associations to form a powerful body that will facilitate the establishment of new SROs in emerging markets, help empower them and provide a platform to discuss and work on solutions regarding the global challenges faced for self-regulation in advertising.