SPNI’s Rohit Gupta elected as ASCI chairman

MUMBAI: Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has elected Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) chief revenue officer – ad sales and international business Rohit Gupta as the new chairman. Gupta is an accomplished industry veteran having spent over 30 years in holding key leadership positions across consumer, media and entertainment industries.

At the board meeting, following the 33rd Annual General Meeting of ASCI, BBH Communications India Managing Partner Subhash Kamath was elected as the vice-chairman while IPG Media Brands CEO Shashi Sinha was re-appointed as the treasurer.

Members of the Board of Governors include; Girish Agarwal (Director, Dainik Bhaskar Group), Vikas Agnihotri (Director Sales, Google India), Prasun Basu (President – South Asia, Nielsen India), Harish Bhat (Director, Tata Global Beverages), Madhusudan Gopalan (CEO, Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care), Sandeep Kohli (Executive Director & Vice President, Personal Care Hindustan Unilever), Prof S.K. Palekar (Adjunct Professor & Advisor, Executive Education Institute of Management Technology), N.S. Rajan (Managing Director, Ketchum Sampark), Abanti Sankaranarayanan (Former Vice Chairperson, CIABC), D Shivakumar (Group Executive President, Aditya Birla Management Corporation), Umesh Shrikhande (CEO, Taproot India Comm), K.V. Sridhar (Founder & Chief Creative Officer (Director), Hyper Collective Creative Technologies), and Sivakumar Sundaram (President Revenue, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd).

Recalling his year at ASCI, the outgoing Chairman D Shivakumar said, “ASCI is a voluntary job and a board led organisation. When I set out last year as the Chairman I had three objectives laid out. The first was to increase our membership base, the second to go digital and third to create awareness among consumers. Now thanks to the MIB directive our awareness has increased immensely, our WhatsApp number has seen a 3X increase in daily messages. We have increased our member base by 10%, our new members representing e-commerce, food & beverage, automotive sectors joining ASCI. ASCI’s digital marketing campaigns would further boost awareness as well as compliance. I wish Rohit and the board the best for the year ahead.”

The incoming chairman, Rohit Gupta, said, “I am honoured to accept this role and look forward to the year ahead. With the inclusion of the internet into our everyday life and the constant evolution in the digital space, I feel that synchronizing ASCI’s efforts in the Digital space will be our key focus for the year. The Council has covered a lot of ground in addressing the need for self-regulation in the digital medium and work is progressing rapidly to address that need. Additionally, we will continue our efforts to strengthen relationships with stakeholders in the year ahead.”

The independent Consumer Complaints Council met 44 times during the year and deliberated on complaints pertaining to 2898 advertisements. Of these, 732 advertisements were promptly withdrawn as soon as the advertiser received communication from ASCI. Complaints were upheld against 1486 advertisements whilst complaints against 475 advertisements were not upheld. 205 advertisements were found to be, prima facie, in violation of The Drugs & Magic Remedies (DMR) Act or The Drugs & Cosmetics Rules (Schedule J) and were promptly escalated to the concerned regulator for immediate attention. In all, 937 advertisements were dealt with immediately through the Informal Resolution (IR) process and escalation to regulators, hence providing speedy redressal of complaints and making ASCI’s process more efficient.

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