New Delhi: D. Shivakumar, group executive president, corporate strategy, at the Aditya Birla group, has been unanimously elected as the chairman of the board of The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the industry watchdog said in a statement on Wednesday.

With two decades of experience in sales, marketing and management positions across consumer products and the luxury industry, Shivakumar has been the member of the board of governors of ASCI for three years and was earlier serving the association as vice-chairman. He takes over the new role from Abanti Sankaranarayanan, chief strategy and corporate affairs officer, Diageo India.

Rohit Gupta, president - network sales and international business, Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd, was elected as the vice-chairman and Shashidhar Sinha, chief executive, Media Brands Pvt. Ltd. was re-appointed as the honorary treasurer. Media Brands is a media network owned by Interpublic Group (IPG).

Sankaranarayanan, the outgoing chairman of ASCI, said, “The year 2017-18 has been another strong year for ASCI as we have made significant advancements towards building our organizational muscle, external credibility and strong collaborations. Our stringent guidelines, seamless processes and the dedication and hardwork of our consumer complaints council have contributed to restricting the use of misleading advertisements and enhance self-regulation."

During her tenure, ASCI completed a three year-long collaboration with the Department of Consumer Affairs, renewed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Food Safety Standards Authority of India, introduced Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising and was included in AYUSH’s empowered committee to control misleading ads of AYUSH drugs.

Speaking on the new role, Shivakumar said, “ASCI is a part of a strong ecosystem which involves government, advertisers, advertising agencies and media. Self-regulation by definition involves being a responsible company and I believe more and more industries will become self-regulated in future. I would want to explore ways to increase the membership base of ASCI bringing in emerging industries such as e-commerce. The other area would be to continue to refine our approach to self-regulation in advertising."

Shivakumar or Shiv, as he is popularly known in the fraternity, was chairman and chief executive of fast-moving consumer goods firm PepsiCo for four years. Prior to which he was with smartphone maker Nokia and Hindustan Unilever.

One of the youngest CEOs in India, Shivakumar writes and teaches regularly on innovation, leadership, business models, and digitization across the many business schools in the world.

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