The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have come together to safeguard consumers against misleading claims in food and beverage (F&B) ads.
As per the agreement, ASCI will identify advertisements that prima facie violate the provisions of Food Safety And Standards (Advertising And Claims) Regulations, 2018. FSSAI will then investigate these violations. With this, ASCI aims to strengthen its 360-degree approach of protecting consumers and guiding brands, agencies, and influencers towards greater responsibility.
Manisha Kapoor, secretary-general, ASCI, said, “With this agreement, ASCI will intensify its scrutiny of the F&B sector. We will tap our National Advertising Monitoring Service, which monitors over 900 TV channels and publications, and over 3,000 websites. Besides national brands, we will examine regional and local ones. Our experts, with decades of experience in the F&B sector, will shortlist those advertisements that require further scrutiny by FSSAI.”
Added Subhash Kamath, chairman, ASCI, “This is a significant collaboration. The common goal of consumer protection drives us all to share skills, expertise and resources in the most effective way to curb the menace of misleading advertising.”
As a part of the new partnership, ASCI will set up a three-member expert panel to evaluate F&B advertising identified by the ASCI monitoring team.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Arun Singhal, CEO, FSSAI, and Professor Bejon Misra, adviser, public affairs, ASCI, on 1 July 2021.