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I&B Secy moots 3-tier content code regulation system

11-June-2010
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I&B Secy moots 3-tier content code regulation system

India’s premier advertising body, The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is celebrating its Silver Jubilee. To commemorate this occasion, a special event – ‘Marketing Responsibly: A seminar to Celebrate 25 years of The Advertising Standards Council of India’ – was held in Mumbai on June 10, 2010 at the Trident, Bandra Kurla Complex. The Seminar was co-organised by the exchange4media Group.

A day along seminar witnessed the famous senior government officials and industry captains addressing the key issues in ‘marketing responsibilities’ in various facets such as education, children’s issues, and women’s issues.

Prof. Dhananjay Keskar Chairman (ASCI) said, “It’s indeed a privilege to celebrate 25 years of ASCI. ASCI was founded in 1985 by advertising agencies, media agencies and media houses. The council has enforced self regulation in advertising and it has the support of the I&B Ministry. We have appealed to extend ASCI code to print, OOH and internet. Self regulation is good for the business. We have embarked on social regulatory organisation and have upgraded our website. We had an alliance in 2008 with the European Advertising Standards Alliance and the World Federation of Advertising plans to support us as well.”

ASCI will continue to implement self regulation. Some of key developments in the recent past have been a proactive campaign undertaken by ASCI in December 2009 to spread awareness among the masses. The public now can complain against any advertisement that they feel is misleading or detrimental in anyway to the society. The complaints can be submitted online on ASCI’s website or via mail. There is also a national toll-free number that has been made available for possible complaints. Since the launch of these interactive options the number of people calling in or contacting the council has increased drastically. ASCI recently introduced specific guidelines for industries like food and automobiles. ‘Copy Advice’- a guideline of sorts for advertisers and agencies before ads are produced has also been made.

Delivering the inaugural speech, Raghu Menon, Secretary Ministry of Information & Broadcasting said, “Ministry of I&B has close working relations with ASCI. They have created some responsible benchmarks in advertising. They are sensitive to the social concerns. The government has full faith in ASCI.”

The issue of content regulation is not new in India. Constitution of India regulatory bodies have been set up to regulate the content regulation. To test the effect of such regulations throughout the country, a good possibility is a code regulation through a 3 tier system; the first being content regulation; the second tier - an industry body like ASCI and the third tier will need the formation of an additional body- the task force. The task force will be from the Indian broadcasters association, informed Menon.

Hindustan Times is the presenting sponsor. Cartoon Network is the co-sponsor of the Seminar, while the Times Television Network is the media TV partner. Yes Bank is the banking partner, while Fever FM is the Radio Partner for this event.

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