28 December 2009

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Know about Advertising Standards Council of India [ASCI]

Know about Advertising Standards Council of India [ASCI]



Advertising Standards Council of India is a self regulatory Voluntary organization of the advertising industry.

The Advertising Standards Council of India was set up in October 1985- by the advertising industry itself consisting of advertisers, advertising agencies, media owners and allied professionals like consumer researchers, processors, film makers, etc to regulate the content of advertising with the primary purpose of protecting consumer interest, but also to ensure fairness in competition.

What type of Company is ASCI? Who are its members?


ASCI is a voluntary self-regulatory organization, registered as a not-for-profit Company under section 25 of the Indian Cos. Act.

The sponsors of the ASCI, who are its principal members, are firms of considerable repute within Industry in India, and comprise Advertisers, Media, and Ad. Agencies and other professional /ancillary services connected with advertising practice.

ASCI is Registered in Oct. 1985, u/s 25, as a Not-For-Profit Co., under the Companies Act 1956 The advertisers' association, namely the Indian Society of Advertisers, the advertising agencies' association, namely The Advertising Agencies Association of India, the media owner's association, namely The Indian Newspapers Society, came together and took the initiative to form the ASCI (the council). From July 1, 2007 ASCI Become the EASA Member
Member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA),

Role and Functions of ASCI
The Role and Functioning of the ASCI & its CCC in dealing with Complaints received from Consumers and Industry, against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and consequently in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising.

Is ASCI a Govt. Body?
The ASCI is not a Govt. body.
It is a voluntary Self Regulatory Organization. However, ASCI is represented in all committees working on advertising content in every Ministry of the Government of India.

What is the power of ASCI?
ASCI's role has been acclaimed by various agencies including the Government. However, it lacked the force of legal recognition.

The Government of India has at last, taken note of this and by one stroke on 2nd August 2006 vide a notification in The Gazette of India: Extraordinary {Part II –sec. 3(i)}, made sure that at least as far as TV Commercials go, they abide by the ASCI code.

The amendment made in Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 through a Notification dated August 2nd, 2006 now states:

“(9) No advertisement which violates the Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising, as adopted by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), Mumbai for public exhibition in India, from time to time, shall be carried in the cable service".

Who complains against Ads to the ASCI? What are the no. of complaints received annually?
The ASCI receives and processes 120-140 complaints against advertisements, from a cross section of consumers and the general public, and this covers individuals, practitioners in advertising, advertiser firms, media, and ad. Agencies and ancillary services connected with advertising.

How long does it take for a decision on a Complaint to be taken?
It takes 4 to 6 weeks from the date we receive a "complete" complaint. This should include full particulars of the Print Ad, the name and date of Publication, and clipping or copy of the print Ad .In case of a TVC airing, we require the Channel, date and time of the TVC. Reasonable description of an A/V, specific claims or visual depictions which are considered to be false, misleading or objectionable and the reasons for the same.

How does ASCI protect the confidentiality of the Complainant?

As a policy the ASCI does not disclose the identity of the complainant to the Advertiser or anyone other than the members of the CCC, at the time of their meeting, which is usually held once a month.

Do Advertisers abide by the decisions of ASCI?
In the case of complaints which were upheld by the CCC, during the past year, it may interest you to know that 85 to 90 % of such Ads have been withdrawn or modified appropriately by the Advertisers/Agencies involved. The concerned Media have also confirmed that they would not carry such offending Ads/TVC.

Does a complainant have to pay to register a complaint?
No. Registering a complaint is free of cost.

Does ASCI have any guidelines or rules which agencies have to follow?
Yes, The ASCI has a Code for Self Regulation in Advertising which covers the following principles:

I. To ensure the truthfulness and honesty of representations and claims made by advertisements and to safeguard against misleading advertisements.

II. To ensure that advertisements are not offensive to generally accepted standards of public decency.

III. To safeguard against the indiscriminate use of advertising for the promotion of products which are regarded as hazardous to society or to individuals to a degree or of a type which is unacceptable to society at large?

IV. To ensure that advertisements observe fairness in competition so that the consumer’s need to be informed on choices in the market-place and the canons of generally accepted competitive behaviour in business are both served.

How does ASCI usually take action with regards to complaints? How far is its power?The ASCI Board consists of 16 members, 4 each from each of the 4 sectors. The Board appoints a CCC to deliberate on complaints.

The CCC consists of 21 members, only 9 from within the industry and 12 from outside, consisting of educationists, lawyers, doctors, technologists, consumer activists and the like. The CCC meets once a month to deliberate on complaints that are ready for deliberations, ie both the complaint and the defendant's response is available. The decision of the CCC is final although there is a provision for a review.

The CCC decision has no legal sanction although compliance is good 


Suggested Reading –


Know Where and How to File a complaint against False, Dishonest, misleading advertisement.



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6 comments:

Aswani (Admin) December 28, 2009  

Thank you SM for providing me this useful information. It will increase my GK ;)

deeps December 28, 2009  

wish you a Bright New Year ..

sm,  December 28, 2009  

ASWANI,
thanks

BK Chowla, December 28, 2009  

Thank you .
Happy new year.

sm,  December 28, 2009  

deeps,
thanks.