Ram Poddar, chairman, The Tobacco Institute of India, has been elected chairman
of its board of governors by The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Bharat Puri, managing director, Cadbury India, has been elected vice-chairman and Arun Adhikari, managing director, HPC of Hindustan Lever, has been made honorary treasurer.
The other members of the board include the following professionals from the fields of advertising and media:†Rajiv Dube (Tata Motors), Shantanu Khosla (P&G Hygiene and Health Care), Bhaskar Das (Bennett Coleman & Co.), Vikram Kaushik (Space TV), G Krishnan (TV Today), N Murali (Kasturi & Sons), Sam Balsara (Madison Media), Madhukar Kamath (Mudra), Pranesh Misra (Lowe) and Arvind Sharma (Leo Burnett). †
Dilip Cherian (Perfect Relations), Dhananjay Keskar (ICFAI Business School) and Partha Rakshit (AC Nielson) are the new board members from allied professions.
Commenting on his election as chairman, Ram Poddar says, "The focus of the year will be to get every advertising industry body, such as the AAAI, IAA-India Chapter, INS, ISA and IBF, even more actively involved in the vital issue of self-regulation of advertising. The aim is to ensure that Indian advertising continues to set high standards to enhance the confidence of consumers in advertised products and services, particularly those directed at children and women."
As a member of the board of governors since November 1998, Poddar has provided active support to self-regulation in the advertising movement. Besides being vice-president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Poddar is also on the governing bodies of the Indian Council of Arbitration and the International Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of various committees of FICCI and CII.
ASCI is represented on three committees notified by three separate ministries, and through these, it has been able to influence government policy on advertising content and to obtain support for the self-regulation movement. During 2004-05, the Consumer Complaints Council of the ASCI upheld 66 per cent of the 157 complaints received, and over 72 per cent of ASCI's rulings were complied with by the ad industry.
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