The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) has launched an initiative that will allow consumers to WhatsApp objectionable advertisements to them. The mobile number (+91 77-100-12345) went live on 10 March 2016.
Benoy Roychowdhury, chairman, ASCI, said, “We are happy to launch the WhatsApp number, close to the World Consumer Rights Day (15 March). ASCI is truly empowering consumers by making it more accessible. Today almost every person with a smartphone is using messaging services such as WhatsApp. Technology makes it possible for them to flag false, misleading or offensive ads instantaneously and anytime anywhere while on the go - be it while reading newspapers at home, on their way to office, listening to radio or watching TV in the evening.”
ASCI wants WhatsApp to serve as the first touch point for consumers to reach ASCI with their main objections and images of the objectionable advertisement. Consumers can send pictures of print ads, hoardings, packaging or screenshots of websites, links of YouTube videos etc. The ASCI team will scrutinise the complaints and act on it if found valid. They will also need the full name and e-mail ID of the person complaining.
The launch is followed by an awareness campaigns by means of print and radio spots with tagline of 'Spot Bad Ad? Snap and WhatsApp +91 77100 12345'.