In a move to further strengthen the process of reducing misleading advertisements in print and on television, ASCI (Advertising Standards Council of India) has partnered with TAM Media Research to launch the National Advertising Monitoring Service (NAMS).
NAMS will begin its operation on May 1.
On an average, AdEx India, TAM's specialist division, will track and monitor around 350 TV ads and 10,860 newspaper ads per week. All these ads will be assessed closely and the ones that violate Chapter 1 of the ASCI code -- related to unsubstantiated, misleading or false claims in the advertisement -- will be pulled up. These ads will then be forwarded to ASCI on a weekly basis, following which ASCI will process them as per its normal complaint procedure involving the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) for adjudication.
AdEx India will monitor ads across categories, including auto, banking, financial services/insurance, FMCG (including F&B), consumer durables, educational institutions, healthcare products and services, telecom and real estate.
The authorities will track the ads appearing in over 30 newspapers (all editions) and all TV channels across the country, in all Indian languages.
Addressing the launch of NAMS, Patel says, "We're hoping this effort will have two consequences - more complaints will come in from people and consumer awareness will increase." He adds that this will also increase the compliance of ad makers, who will tend to become more mindful about ASCI's code. "Ultimately, our focus is on protecting the interests of the consumer," he states.
Venkat says, "The NAMS initiative is a paradigm shift for self regulation in Indian advertising, probably a benchmark for other countries as something like this has never been attempted on this scale anywhere in the world." He adds that NAMS will serve to strengthen the ad self-regulation and redressal process as the authorities will now be able to proactively monitor a wider numbers of ads.
"This will be in the best interest of the Indian consumers as it will significantly reduce release of misleading advertising in India," says Venkat.
TAM's Krishnan adds, "Apart from media measurement, for decades now, we have been playing a silent yet central industry role towards media (advertising) monitoring and analytics as well. Our partnership with ASCI is yet another reiteration of the neutral role we play within the Indian advertising landscape."
The launch of NAMS comes on the back of two recent initiatives taken by ASCI. Firstly, in September 2011, ASCI launched a new procedure to fast track the redressal of complaints lodged by industry members, as per which a speedy resolution (within seven working days) to intra-industry complaints became possible. Secondly, ASCI increased the frequency of meetings of the CCC from once to twice a month.