Suo-moto action led to 65% increase in ads under ASCI scanner

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) deliberated on 2,300 advertisements in 2016-2017


Bolstered by the introduction of Suo Moto Monitoring after a one year break, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) deliberated on 2,300 advertisements in 2016-2017. This is the highest number of advertisements deliberated by ASCI so far. In comparison, in 2015-2016 only 1,389 complaints were processed. The compliance was confirmed in 85 per cent of the cases, 14 per cent of the upheld complaints were referred to the appropriate ministry and one per cent is sub-judice. 

 

Of the 2,300 complaints, 55% of the (1,272) complaints were taken by suo-moto by ASCI while 45% (1,028) of the complaints were direct complaints. In 2015-16 only around 18 per cent of the complaints were taken up suo-moto. 

 




ASCI also started referring advertisements that the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) considers to be, prima facie, in violation to The Drugs & Magic Remedies Act or The Drugs & Cosmetics Rules to the Ministry of AYUSH or the Ministry of Health. ASCI ensures that the regulator is alerted about the existence of such advertisements and so that they can initiate prompt action. There were 373 such advertisements that were referred to the Ministry of AYUSH or the Ministry of Health. 




The maximum number of complaints were received for advertisements in the education category. A total of 479 complaints were received, of which as many as 372 complaints were upheld. This was followed by clinic with 411 complaints (175), drug and medicine with 372 complaints (166), and food and beverage with 319 complaints (187 upheld).

 

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 in 2016-2017.

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