Benoy Roychowdhury, executive director at HT Media and whole time director of Hindustan Media Ventures, has been unanimously elected as chairman of the Board of ASCI in a board meeting. As a member of the Board of Governors for four years, he has represented print media and provided active support to self regulation.
Narendra Ambwani, the outgoing chairman of ASCI, says, "It has been quite an eventful year for ASCI. We had set four key priorities for the year - collaboration with the regulators, easier consumer access to ASCI services, inculcate self-discipline among creators of advertising and be seen as a fair adjudicator by all stakeholders. Not only were we able to deliver on all four priorities, we also received recognition for all the good work ASCI has been doing."
Roychowdhury says, "There has been a remarkable transition in the last couple of years with newer sectors like e-commerce and digital advertising changing the game. Over 90 per cent of consumers send in their complaints to ASCI online or via e-mail, versus letters or phone calls. ASCI has also evolved to match the pace by significantly improving the efficiency and speed in the consumer redressal process. These continuous efforts are now being backed by regulatory agencies such as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, as well as the DCA."
He adds, "Responsibility for the success of self regulation rests with every player. Advertisers should advertise with a conscience, media which carry the ads should be more responsible and regulators should back self regulation by lending their support."
During the year 2014-15, the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) met 47 times and deliberated on complaints against a total of 1877 advertisements. Of these, complaints against 1389 ads were upheld, while 486 were not upheld and two were outside ASCI's purview.