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Benoy Roychowdhury is ASCI’s new chairman

MUMBAI: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has elected HT Media executive director and Hindustan Media Ventures whole time director Benoy Roychowdhury as chairman of the board.

Roychowdhury has been a member of the ASCI board of governors for four years. He has represented print media and provided active support to self-regulation.

RK Swamy BBDO CMD Srinivasan K Swamy was elected vice-chairman while Media Brands CEO Shashi Sinha was re-appointed the honorary treasurer.

Other members of the board of governors are CIABC VP Abanti Sankanarayan; Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Healthcare MD and CEO; Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd (BCCL) president Arunab Das Sharma; Pepsico India chairman and CEO D Shivakumar; Eanadu director I Venkat; Agrotech Foods Ltd director Narendra Ambwani; Provacateur director Paritosh Joshi; Vice Chair, Burson-Marsteller, Asia Pacific & Principal/Founder, Genesis Burson-Marsteller Prema Sagar; Google India MD Rajan Anandan ; HUL executive director Personal Care Sameer Singh; SP Jain Institute management educationist SK Palekar; BBH Comms India managing partner Subhash Kamath ; and Grey Group CMD Sunil Lulla.

Ambwani, the outgoing chairman of ASCI, 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.”

He added that the Department of Consumer Affair (DCA) engaged ASCI as their executive arm to curb misleading advertisements. It has entrusted ASCI to process complaints received on DCA’s portal ‘Grievances Against Misleading Advertisements’.

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 email 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 organisations 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.”

Incidentally, during 2014-15, the CCC met 47 times and deliberated on complaints against a total of 1877 advertisements. Of these, complaints against 1389 ads were upheld, while 486 were not upheld and two were outside ASCI’s purview.

ASCI has been able to achieve close to 90 per cent compliance, a healthy figure for a self-regulatory organisation.