At the 31st Annual General Meeting of The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held today, Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer, Diageo India was unanimously elected Chairman of the Board of ASCI. Sankaranrayanan was the Vice-Chairman, ASCI till now. She takes over from Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman and Managing Director, RK Swamy BBDO as the Chairperson.
D Shivakumar, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo India was elected as the Vice-Chairman and Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands was re-appointed as the Honorary Treasurer.
Other members of the Board include Benoy Roychowdhury, Executive Director, HT Media; NS Rajan, Global Partner and Managing Director, Ketchum Sampark, Rohit Gupta, President, Network Sales and International Business, SPN India, SK Palekar, Adjunct Professor and Advisor - Executive Education, IMT; Al Rajwani, managing Director and Chief Executive, P&G Hygiene and Health Care; Narendra Ambwani, Director, Agro Tech Foods; Prashant Singh, MD, Nielsen India Regional; Raj Jain, CEO, BCCL; Sandeep Kohli, Executive Director and CP, Presonal Care, HUL; Srinivasan Swamy, Chairman and MD, RK Swamy BBDO; Sunil Lulla, Chairman and MD, Grey Group India and Subhash Kamath, Managing Partner, BBH Communications.
S. K. Swamy, the outgoing Chairman, ASCI, said, â2016-17 has been an interesting year for ASCI as it marked some impressive advancements. In a noteworthy achievement, ASCI received positive re-enforcement for the role it plays as a self-regulatory body in a landmark Supreme Court Judgement. Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) which is currently on its third year, and the signing of two new MOUs with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Ministry of AYUSH, has collectively proven credibility ASCI enjoys with the Government. Other noteworthy aspects include ASCI being included as an Expert Committee member to look into matters pertaining to advertising of High Fat Sugar and Salt (HFSS) foods and Sugar Sweetened beverages (SSBs), and as a key stakeholder in the committee constituted by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). ASCI is now a part of the Executive Committee of International Council on Ad Self-Regulation (ICAS). Interestingly ASCI was a Gold winner at Global EASAâs Best Practice Awards for its mobile app, a service that was introduced in 2016. Another significant step was introduction of an Independent Review Process by a retired Supreme Court/High Court Judge, when CCC decisions are sought to be reviewed by affected advertisers. Guidelines were issued relating to Celebrity endorsements of products/services given the importance consumers attach to such association. Iâm delighted to have been an enabler for this yearâs journey for ASCI and Iâm sure the Council will take proactive steps in the cause of self-regulation in advertising.â
Sankaranarayanan said at the AGM, "Last year has been one of the best years for ASCI. Many big steps were taken in this year. I think the credible partnership gives us a lot of teeth as compared to the past. I am coming in as a chair at the time when there is great foundation."
âASCI has seen a remarkable year on year progress through formalised collaborations with various regulators, notable recognitions from eminent external organisations, further facilitation of robust codes and guidelines and swifter processes to promote the cause of self-regulation in advertising. I feel privileged to be elected as Chairman of ASCI and Iâm elated to take over as the torch bearer for several more successful initiatives and significantly contribute to effective self-regulation in advertising. Itâs heartening to see ASCIâs relentless efforts being recognised by the judicial body, prominent regulators and government bodies and we shall take all efforts to continue to keep it so. Core to ASCIâs mission to ensure protection of the interests of consumers, through supporting Honesty, Decency, Responsibility and Fairness in Advertising, ASCI shall carry on to keep true with its consumer focused tagline, âSo you can trust advertisingâ, said Sankaranarayanan.