New Delhi: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) elected Narendra Ambwani as chairman in a board meeting held on Thursday. Ambwani is director at Agro Tech Foods Ltd.

As a member of ASCI’s board of governors for seven years, Ambwani has provided active support to self-regulation in the advertising sector, said ASCI in a statement.

“Earlier, we acted primarily on complaints received from the public or the industry body. In the coming year, we hope to promote ASCI’s guidelines more vigorously among advertisers and creative agencies, so that new ads meet ASCI’s standards at the creative stage itself. We also hope to collaborate strongly with the regulators and consumer groups to ensure fairness and responsibility in advertising," Ambwani said.

Benoy Roychowdhury, executive director of HT Media Ltd, was elected vice-chairman and Shashidhar Sinha, chief executive of IPG Mediabrands, was appointed honorary treasurer.

The other members of the new board of governors are Hemant Bakshi, Arvind Sharma, Dilip Cherian, S.K. Palekar, Jayant Singh, Subhash Kamath, Srinivasan Swamy, Rajan Anandan, Shantanu Khosla, Abanti Sankarnarayanan, I. Venkat, Arunabh DasSharma and Partha Rakshit.

In 2013-14, ASCI’s Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) met 41 times and considered complaints against 1,937 advertisements. It upheld complaints against 1,520 advertisements. In more than 90% of the cases where a complaint against the advertisement was upheld, the advertisements have been voluntarily withdrawn or modified as per the Consumer Complaints Council’s decisions.

In August, ASCI issued guidelines on skin lightening and fairness products which ensured that these advertisements do not depict people with dark skin as inferior to those who are fairer.

ASCI is a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry. ASCI deals with complaints received from consumers and industry against advertisements which are considered false, misleading, indecent, illegal, leading to unsafe practices, or unfair to competition, and in contravention of the ASCI code for self-regulation in advertising.

ASCI also pro-actively monitors almost all new print and TV ads released in the country.

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