Asci to put ad complaints on fast track

MUMBAI: Advertising industry watchdog, Advertising Standards Council of India (Asci), is introducing a new procedure that will seek to provide a speedy resolution to intra industry complaints.

The Fast Track Complaints Council (FTCC), a 14-member panel nominated from the existing 21 Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) members, will be responsible for adjudicating the fast track complaints.

According to the new process that comes into effect from 1 September, any advertiser category Asci member company can lodge a complaint against an ad of another advertiser category member company.

Asci said that the whole process from receiving the complaint to the decision of the FTCC is expected to take no more than seven working days.

Consequently, the office of the secretary general of Asci will reach out to the advertiser complained against, within one working day of receiving the complaint, asking for a written response and to be present along with the complainant for appearance before the FTCC.

On the fourth working day from the date of sending the complaint communication to the advertiser, the FTCC will be responsible for adjudicating the matter.

The secretary general will communicate the decision of the FTCC to the parties concerned. If the complaint is upheld, then the advertiser will have to communicate the decision to withdraw the ad to the media concerned within two working days from notification of the FTCC‘s decision.

The fast track procedure will be reviewed by the Asci board for a period of four to six months of its commencement. Basis the results and experience, the secretary general and the FTCC will make recommendations to the Asci Board for making appropriate amendments, if any, to the Fast Track Procedure.

Asci secretary general Alan Collaco said, "With the introduction of the Fast Track procedure, Asci aims to provide a platform for member advertisers to quickly resolve intra industry complaints against ads through industry self regulation process instead of seeking expensive court litigation. ASCI has a rigorous Advertising Code and effective complaint redressal process that has withstood the test of time as its CCC, consisting of eminent persons from various walks of life, independently goes into the merits of every complaint.?

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