MUMBAI: The European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) Global Best Practice Gold Award was presented to The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) at the EASA's bi-annual meeting in Amsterdam.
The prestigious prize was awarded to ASCI "for significantly reducing the average time it takes to handle complaints". EASA mentioned that "The ASCI put in place actions to substantially reduce the journey time of complaints – from their first point of contact with the Secretariat, through the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) and on to the transmission of the final decision to the advertiser and complainant."
The prompt and efficient processing of complaints meant that ASCI reduced the lead time of complaints processing from on an average from 45 days in 2011 to 28 days in 2012 to now 12 days. Other key measures included introduction of Suspension Pending Investigation (SPI) by which ASCI can order an extremely objectionable ad to be removed immediately, expansion from one to two Consumer Complaints Councils (CCC's) which enabled weekly instead of bimonthly in 2013 and monthly in 2012 meetings, a faster response time to complaints and tracking of upheld complaint ads.
ASCI’s chairman Partha Rakshit said, “ASCI is thrilled to learn that it has won the prestigious Gold Award for 2013. Last year we won the EASA Silver Awards for the National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS) initiative which started tracking most of the print and TV ads in India. That award spurred us to focus on improving ASCI’s effectiveness and credibility as a SRO delivering speedier redressal of complaints and higher compliance of its decisions, which has got the Gold this year.”
“Various government departments now recognise and support our self- regulation work by including ASCI's code and representation in the rules and committees established to regulate advertising content respectively. We are very grateful to EASA for recognising our work and for advice and encouragement they, along with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), provide to ASCI. I thank my colleagues on the ASCI Board, its Consultative Committee, the CCC and the Secretariat who together have made this achievement possible," concluded Rakshit.