Home >Companies >News >Ads regulator ASCI inducts Google, Facebook executives into its board

New Delhi: India’s advertising industry regulator Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on Friday said it has inducted Aditya Swamy, director of Google India into its board. Sandeep Bhushan, head of India global marketing solutions at Facebook will be a special invitee to the board. The appointments highlight the importance of digital advertising and the subsequent need to formulate policies for the medium. 

As advertisers’ focus shifts from traditional media to digital spaces, ASCI is ensuring that it stays ahead of the curve and streamlines the shift, the advertising industry regulator said in a statement.

The induction of both Swamy and Bhushan will help the self-regulator formulate better policies and guidelines for the advertising industry.

“As ASCI works to ensure the protection of consumer interests, along with those of other stakeholders like brands and agencies, having Google and Facebook on the board will help it to sharpen its ability to implement its guidelines as well," it said.

ASCI has been doing more to streamline guidelines for digital advertising and formulating rules to monitor advertisements on various social media platforms.

ASCI also recently announced an overhaul—including a new logo, as well expanding focus on digital advertising as the 36-year-old regulator tries to stay relevant in a digital-first world.

“The appointments also mark ASCI’s fast-widening focus on digital advertising and platforms, which began last year with a partnership with TAM to monitor 3,000 digital platforms for misleading marketing claims, as well as the launch of the Influencer guidelines and influencer monitoring through an AI platform," it said.

“As we strengthen our roots in the digital space and streamline its functioning, it is extremely important that we collaborate with and learn from the leaders. Google and Facebook are the biggest digital players. We look forward to them helping us become a better conscience keeper of the industry," said Subhash Kamath, chairman, ASCI.

The move also comes as advertising spends on digital channels have continued to expand— helped by the greater reach of cheap data and smartphones. The pandemic has only accelerated the trend.

According to a June report by Dentsu, digital ad spends in India grew 20% in 2019 to 29.4% in 2021. While television remains the most-used advertising medium, it grew 7.7% in the same period.

The gap between television and digital ad-spends is also fast narrowing, it said. Digital, at 35% market share, has overtaken print (16%) and is closing the gap with television (45%), according to 2021 estimates by media agency GroupM.

Manisha Kapoor, Secretary-General, ASCI, said the inclusion of members from Google and Facebook on ASCI’s board is a great start to the new journey ASCI is embarking upon.

“It is vital for us to have a keen understanding of digital operations. We will benefit greatly from the expertise that both these companies bring with them," Kapoor said.

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