Das, executive president, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd, has been unanimously elected chairman of the board of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). The development took place at the board meeting held on September 13, 2007. Das has been a member of the board of governors since September 2005 and has provided support to self-regulation in advertising. Shantanu Khosla is the outgoing chairman.
Madhukar Kamath, managing director and chief executive officer, Mudra Communications, has been elected vice-chairman, while Rajiv Dube, president, passenger car business unit, Tata Motors, has been re-appointed honorary treasurer.
Das says, "Having been associated with ASCI for the last two years, I have come to truly appreciate the role that an active self-regulatory voluntary organisation can play in the growth story of a booming media industry by balancing creative communication demands on the one hand and society's code of ethics on the other, in a dynamic manner. It is my privilege to be elected chairman of ASCI and I shall endeavour to enhance its relevance to various media constituents."
During 2006-07, the consumer complaints council (CCC) deliberated on 140 complaints against ads, of which 78 were upheld. In 56 cases, the ads have been withdrawn or modified appropriately. It is noteworthy that 72 per cent of the advertisers who complied are not members of ASCI.
During the year, close ties were established with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and the Advertising Education Forum (AEF). WFA has identified India, along with Russia, China, Brazil and Mexico, as emerging major markets in which self-regulation in advertising will play a vital role in rapidly expanding the economies. ASCI's "corresponding associate membership" in EASA from this year will provide access for European economies to acquaint themselves with advertising regulation in India, prior to their entry or expansion programmes.
AEF will extend awareness of advertising self-regulation in India to its members, who are concerned with enhancing advertising literacy in the younger generation of emerging consumers.