Subhash Kamath, chief executive at advertising agency BBH & Publicis Worldwide, India, has been unanimously re-elected chairman of the board of governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the industry watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.
Speaking about his tenure and way forward, Kamath said, “We have flagged off important initiatives in the digital space, such as the influencer guidelines and the monitoring of promotional content. We are becoming future-ready in this ever-changing marketing and media landscape. The second term will allow me to push further with these initiatives, which are showing immense promise. As we expand our presence, we are engaging more with consumers as well to increase awareness of their rights.”
NS Rajan, managing director at August One Partners LLP was re-elected, and Shashidhar Sinha, chief executive, Mediabrands India Pvt. Ltd was reappointed as honorary treasurer.
The ASCI board was expanded this year with the inclusion of members such as academician and social activist Dr Ranjana Kumari, educationist Dr Indu Sahani, technology entrepreneur Rajesh Patel, and finance sector expert and former editor Rajrishi Singhal.
The vote, which followed the 35th annual general meeting, ensured continuity for the several initiatives the advertising self-regulator had kickstarted over the past year. This includes the launch of influencer guidelines for labelling promotional content, which helped consumers distinguish paid content from organic, alliance with French digital service provider Reech for monitoring influencer content, using artificial intelligence, for paid marketing communication.
The industry body also put in place real-money gaming advertising guidelines, introduced in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which made it mandatory to inform consumers of the associated risks. Guidelines for brand extensions of liquor and tobacco advertising were updated.ASCI issued its own COVID advisory for advertisers in October 2020. The body also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with food industry regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to identify ads in potential violation of its regulations.