D Shivakumar, group executive president, corporate strategy, Aditya Birla Group, was unanimously elected chairman of the board of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) at its recent board meeting.
As the member of the board of governors for three years, supporting self-regulation, Shivakumar is an accomplished business leader having spent over 19 years in sales, marketing and general management positions across consumer products and the luxury industry.
Rohit Gupta, president, network sales and international business, Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd, was elected as the vice-chairman, and Shashidhar Sinha, chief executive officer, Media Brands Pvt Ltd, was re-appointed as the honorary treasurer.
The members of the board of governors include Harish Bhat, director, Tata Global Beverages Ltd; Subhash Kamath, managing partner, BBH Communications India Pvt Ltd; Sandeep Kohli, executive director and vice-president, personal care, Hindustan Unilever Ltd; S K Palekar, adjunct professor and advisor, Executive Education Institute of Management Technology; N S Rajan, managing director, Ketchum Sampark Pvt Ltd; K V Sridhar, founder and chief creative of?cer (director), Hyper Collective Creative Technologies Pvt Ltd; Abanti Sankaranarayanan, former vice-chairperson, CIABC; Girish Agarwal, director, Dainik Bhaskar Group; Madhusudan Gopalan, chief executive officer, Procter and Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Ltd; Prasun Basu, president, South Asia Nielsen India Pvt Ltd; Sivakumar Sundaram, president, revenue, Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd; Vikas Agnihotri, director, sales, Google India Pvt Ltd, and Umesh Shrikhande, chief executive officer, Taproot India Comm P Ltd.
Sankaranarayanan, outgoing chairman, ASCI, said, “The year 2017-18 has been another strong year for ASCI as we have made significant advancements towards building our organisational muscle, external credibility and strong collaborations.”
“Our stringent guidelines, seamless processes and the dedication and hardwork of our Consumer Complaints Council have contributed to restricting the use of misleading advertisements and enhance self-regulation,” she added.
“ASCI’s momentous achievements for the year include successful completion of three year-long collaboration with the Department of Consumer Affairs, the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with FSSAI, the introduction of Guidelines for Celebrities in Advertising and inclusion in AYUSH’s Empowered Committee to control misleading ads of AYUSH drugs. As the chairman for ASCI for the year 2017-18, I am extremely proud to be a part of this journey, and I am confident that under Shivakumar’s Chairmanship ASCI will continue to grow swiftly and steadily,” Sankaranarayanan said.
Shivakumar said, “I want to thank Sankaranarayanan for her stewardship. We live in changing times with respect to information, media and trust of society. ASCI has been built on the foundation of self-regulation and the wisdom of the previous chairmen and the board. It’s my privilege to do the role now.”
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) established by ASCI is an independent body. The majority of its members is drawn from civil society members like consumer activists, lawyers, doctors and educationists.
It met 47 times during the year and deliberated on complaints against 2,641 advertisements. Complaints against 1,177 advertisements were upheld, while those against 483 were not upheld.
The significant increase in the number of complaints as compared to 2016-17 numbers (2,300) is largely due to ASCI’s Suo Moto Monitoring project viz National Advertisement Monitoring Services (NAMS). The Independent Review Process (IRP) received a very favourable response and 30 IRPs were conducted during this year.