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ASCI appoints Benoy Roychowdhury as new chairman

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MUMBAI: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has appointed HT Media executive director Benoy Roychowdhury as its new chairman. As a member of the Board of Governors for four years, he has represented print media and provided active support to self-regulation.

R.K. Swamy BBDO chairman and MD Srinivasan K. Swamy was elected as vice chairman and Media Brands CEO Shashidhar Sinha, was re-appointed the honorary treasurer.

ASCI outgoing chairman Narendra Ambwani said, “It has been quite an eventful year for ASCI. We had set four key priorities for the year i.e. Collaboration with the regulators, easier consumer access to ASCI services, inculcate self-discipline among creators of advertising and be seen as fair adjudicator by all stakeholders. Not only were we able to deliver on all four priorities; but we also received recognition for all the good work ASCI has been doing. The Department of Consumer Affair (DCA) engaged ASCI as their “Executive Arm” to curb misleading advertisements and has entrusted ASCI to process complaints received on DCA’s portal “Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements (gama.gov.in).”

Roychowdhury added, “There has been a remarkable transition in the last couple of years of how newer sectors like e-commerce and media such as digital advertising have changed the game. Over 90 per cent of consumers send in their complaints to ASCI online or via e: mail versus letters or phone calls. ASCI has also evolved to match the pace by significantly improving the efficiency and speed in ASCI’s consumer redressal process. These continuous efforts are now being backed by regulatory agencies such as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as the DCA, and more and more Government organizations are approaching ASCI to seek help in adjudicating on various complaints related to advertisements. Responsibility for the success of self-regulation rests with every player - Advertisers should advertise with a conscience, media which carry the ads should be more responsible and regulators should back self-regulation by lending their support.”

Speaking exclusively to Indiantelevision.com the new chairman said, “I would like to strengthen the four pillars that we stand tall on. Educate through our E-Learning initiative, enhance consumer interaction and our app will play a pivotal role in it. I am also looking at more collaborations.  We had great success as Ministry of Consumer Affairs recognised us last year and lastly we need to advertise our presence so that more people are aware about ASCI.”

ASCI promotes self regulation philosophy and Roychowdhury thinks it’s healthy for the fraternity as the alternatives can be difficult. “The alternative to self regulation is government regulation which I think is not what the industry is looking towards. Responsible advertising is much better than courts and judicial processes,” he added. 

Other members of the Board of Governors are CIABC vice president Abanti Sankanarayan, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Healthcare managing director and chief executive Al Rajwani, Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd president Arunab Das Sharma, Pepsico India chairman & CEO D. Shivakumar, Eanadu director I Venkat, Agrotech Foods Ltd director Narendra Ambwani, Provacateur director Paritosh Joshi, Genesis Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific & principal/founder, Burson-Marsteller vice chair Prema Sagar, Google India managing director Rajan Anandan, Hindustan Unilever executive director personal care Sameer Singh, S.P. Jain Institute management educationist SK Palekar, BBH Comms India managing partner Subhash Kamath and Grey Group chairman and managing director Sunil Lulla.

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