ASCI appoints Partha Rakshit as the new chairman

MUMBAI: Partha Rakshit Associates' proprietor Partha Rakshit was unanimously elected as the chairman at the board meeting of The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

ASCI's biggest task in the coming year is to more vigorously disseminate ASCI's guidelines through training programs believes Partha Rakshit

The incoming chairman, Partha 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 complaint received by the public. In May 2012, ASCI setup 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 pro-active step has enlarged ASCI's role as a self regulatory body manifold. 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".

The outgoing chairman of the association, Arvind Sharma said, "Last year has been a very eventful year for ASCI. The NAMS Initiative which has seen a fivefold 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 approx 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.'

Agro Tech Foods director Narendra Ambwani was elected as the vice-chairman; and Mediabrands CEO Shashidhar Sinha was appointed the Honorary Treasurer.

The other members of the new Board of Governors are: Hemant Bakshi (Hindustan Unilever), Shantanu Khosla (Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care), Jayant Singh (Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare) from the advertisers, Rajan Anandan (Google India), Sunil Lulla (Times Television Network), Benoy Roychowdhury (HT Media), I. Venkat (Eenadu) from the media industry and the likes of Subhash Kamath (BBH Comms India), Arvind Sharma (Leo Burnett), Srinivasan Swamy (R.K. Swamy BBDO). Allied Professions: Dilip Cherian (Perfect Relations), S.K. Palekar (S.P. Jain Institute of Management), Abanti Sankaranarayanan (CIABC) from the advertising agencies.

During the year 2012-13, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) met 24 times and considered 3007 complaints against 788 advertisements. Of these, complaints against 642 ads were upheld, while 144 were not upheld and 2 were considered non-issues. In 590 cases, the complaint upheld ads have been voluntarily withdrawn or modified as per the CCC's decisions resulting in over 91% compliance rate.

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