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Partha Rakshit elected new ASCI Chairman

He takes over from Arvind Sharma. Narendra Ambwani, Director, Agro Tech Foods, was elected Vice-Chairman, and Shashidhar Sinha, CEO, Mediabrands India, was appointed Honorary Treasurer

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | September 12, 2013

Partha Rakshit

At the Board Meeting of The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) held in Mumbai today, Partha Rakshit, Proprietor, Partha Rakshit Associates, was unanimously elected Chairman of the Board of ASCI. As a member of the Board of Governors for eight years, he has provided active support to self-regulation in the advertising movement. Rakshit was at one time Managing Director, South Asia at The Nielsen Company.

Narendra Ambwani, Director, Agro Tech Foods, was elected Vice-Chairman, and Shashidhar Sinha, CEO, Mediabrands India, was appointed Honorary Treasurer.

The other members of the new Board of Governors are:


Hemant Bakshi (Hindustan Unilever), Shantanu Khosla (Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care), Jayant Singh (Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare)


Rajan Anandan (Google India), Sunil Lulla (Times Television Network), Benoy Roychowdhury (HT Media), I Venkat (Eenadu)

Advertising agencies:

Subhash Kamath (BBH India), Arvind Sharma (Leo Burnett), Srinivasan Swamy (RK Swamy BBDO)

Allied Professions:

Dilip Cherian (Perfect Relations), SK Palekar (SP Jain Institute of Management), Abanti Sankaranarayanan (CIABC)

During 2012-13, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) met 24 times and considered 3,007 complaints against 788 advertisements. Of these, complaints against 642 ads were upheld, while 144 were not upheld and two were considered non-issues. In 590 cases, the complaint-upheld ads were voluntarily withdrawn or modified as per CCC’s decisions resulting in over 91 per cent compliance rate.

Arvind Sharma, the outgoing Chairman of ASCI,¬†said, ‚ÄúLast year has been a very eventful year for ASCI. The NAMS Initiative which has seen a five-fold increase in the ads complained against (from 177 to 788) has won ASCI the prestigious EASA Silver Award for Best Practices. The CCC now meets every week and approximately complaints against 200 advertisements are deliberated upon every month. The Online Complaints and Monitoring Services (OCMS) in the new-look ASCI website has also started getting complaints against ads in large numbers. ASCI has also introduced Suspension Pending Investigation where an advertiser is asked to suspend an ad immediately pending investigation when that Ad appears to be in serious breach of the Code.‚ÄĚ

Incoming Chairman Partha Rakshit¬†said, ‚ÄúThe last couple of years has seen a sea-change in ASCI‚Äôs approach to self-regulating advertising content. Earlier, we acted primarily on complaint received by the public. In May 2012, ASCI set up NAMS, a system of monitoring all new TV and print ads released across India, where trained professionals screened each ad to assess whether it meets ASCI‚Äôs code on honest and ethical advertising. This proactive step has enlarged ASCI‚Äôs role as a self-regulatory body manifold. I believe ASCI‚Äôs biggest task in the coming year is to more vigorously disseminate ASCI‚Äôs guidelines through training programmes to the advertisers and ad agencies who create the ads and to media who release them, so that the proportion of new ads that meet ASCI‚Äôs standards is high at the stage of release itself.¬†ASCI will also liaise more closely with regulators to ensure that ads which do not comply with CCC‚Äôs upheld complaints are acted upon as per the law of the land.‚ÄĚ


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