Campaign India Team
Sep 13, 2013

Partha Rakshit elected chairman of ASCI

Narendra Ambwani elected vice-chairman, Shashi Sinha is honorary treasurer

Partha Rakshit elected chairman of ASCI

Partha Rakshit, proprietor, Partha Rakshit Associates, has been elected chairman of the self-regulatory body Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Rakshit has been a member of the board of the governors of ASCI for eight years.

He succeeds Arvind Sharma, chairman and CEO, India sub-continent, Leo Burnett.

At the AGM held in Mumbai on 12 September, Narendra Ambwani, director, Agro Tech Foods, was elected vice-chairman.

Shashi Sinha, CEO, Mediabrands India, was appointed honorary treasurer.

Others elected to constitute the board of governors, are:

Advertisers:  Hemant Bakshi (Hindustan Unilever Limited), Shantanu Khosla (Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care), Jayant Singh (Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare)

Media: Rajan Anandan (Google India), Sunil Lulla (Times Television Network), Benoy Roychowdhury (HT Media), I Venkat (Eenadu)

Advertising agencies: Subhash Kamath (BBH Comms India), Arvind Sharma (Leo Burnett), Srinivasan Swamy (RK Swamy BBDO)

Allied professions: Dilip Cherian (Perfect Relations), SK Palekar (S.P. Jain Institute of Management), Abanti Sankaranarayanan (CIABC)

At the meeting, it was also announced that during the year 2012-‘13, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) met 24 times and considered 3,007 complaints against 788 advertisements. Of these, complaints against 642 ads were upheld, while 144 were not upheld and two were considered non-issues. In 590 cases, the ads against which complaints were upheld have been voluntarily withdrawn or modified as per the CCC’s decisions, resulting in a compliance rate of over 91 per cent.

Arvind Sharma, the outgoing ASCI chairman, said, “Last year has been a very eventful year for ASCI. The NAMS Initiative which has seen a five-fold increase in the ads complained against (from 177 to 788) has won ASCI the prestigious EASA Silver Award for Best Practices. The CCC now meets every week and approximately complaints against 200 advertisements are deliberated upon every month. Set up of the Online Complaints and Monitoring Services (OCMS) in the new look ASCI website also has started getting complaints against ads coming in from consumers in large numbers. ASCI has also introduced Suspension Pending Investigation where an advertiser is asked to suspend an ad immediately pending investigation when that ad appears to be in serious breach of the code.”

Rakshit said, “The last couple of years have seen a sea change in ASCI’s approach to self regulating advertising content. Earlier, we acted primarily on complaints received by the public. In May 2012, ASCI set up NAMS, a system of monitoring all new TV and print ads released across India, where trained professionals screened each ad to assess whether it meets ASCI’s code on honest and ethical advertising. This proactive step has enlarged ASCI’s role as a self regulatory body manifold."

On the year ahead, he added," I believe ASCI’s biggest task in the coming year is to more vigorously disseminate ASCI’s guidelines through training programs to the advertisers and ad agencies who create the ads and to media who release them, so that the proportion of new ads that meet ASCI’s standards is high at the stage of release itself.  ASCI will also liaise more closely with regulators to ensure that ads which do not comply with CCC’s upheld complaint decision are acted upon as per the law of the land”.

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