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Seen an offensive ad? WhatsApp to ASCI

Consumers can ‘Snap and WhatsApp’ objectionable advertisements to +91 77100 12345 – anytime, anywhere

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 11, 2016


The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) is embracing technology to connect with consumers and curb misleading ads. Consumers can now WhatsApp objectionable ads to +91 77-100-12345. The number went live on March 10, 2016 with the ASCI Board of Governors lodging suo moto complaints using this number.

This is yet another revolutionary initiative by ASCI, after the successful launch of a Mobile App - ASCIonline - last year.

Benoy Roychowdhury Benoy Roychowdhury

Benoy Roychowdhury, Chairman, ASCI, said, “We are happy to launch the WhatsApp number, close to the World Consumer Rights Day (March 15). ASCI is truly empowering consumers by making it more accessible. Today almost every person with a smartphone is using messaging services such as WhatsApp. Technology makes it possible for them to flag false, misleading or offensive ads instantaneously and anytime, anywhere while on the go, be it while reading a newspaper at home, on way to office, listening to radio or watching TV in the evening.”

WhatsApp will serve as the only touch-point for consumers to reach ASCI. Consumers can send pictures on objectionable print ads, packaging, hoarding, screen shots of websites, links of YouTube videos and a lot more. A fully equipped backend team at ASCI will then scrutinize the complaints and take it further if the complaint is valid. The complainant would then receive status updates on the complaint by SMS or email.

The number will not be used for any commercial purpose. This service is free for consumers, in line with ASCI’s mission of promoting self-regulation of advertising content and protecting consumers’ interest.

The launch will be supported by awareness campaigns on print and radio spots with the tagline “Spot Bad Ad? Snap and WhatsApp +91 77100 12345 WhatsApp.”

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