Today, India is among the fastest in the world markets, with sellers trying to compete fiercely to make their goods distinguish themselves from others in the eyes of the customer. Advertising products is one method for sellers to distinguish their offerings from those of others in these kinds of extremely competitive environments. We commonly observe sellers making overstated or untrue statements, as a consequence that the end product keeps failing to fulfill the expectations set in the minds of customers by such ad campaigns. As a result, it was necessary to put a stop to this unfair advertising. The standards developed for these kinds of advertisements will be discussed in greater detail in this article.
What is ASCI?
The Advertising Standards Council of India (hereinafter “ASCI”) was established in 1985 under Section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956. It is a “voluntary, self-regulatory council” that has been certified as a non-profit corporation. The ASCI was based on the belief that all marketing activities in India had to be legal, genuine, decent, and honest, with a sense of social accountability and in conformance with a fair competition environment.
Structure of the ASCI
The ASCI team consists of a Board of Governors, members of the Consumer Complaints Council, as well as a Secretariat. The ASCI Board of Directors is constituted of a governor and 16 representatives who are members of reputed and reliable firms such as news organizations, advertising companies, as well as other people involved in the advertising market.
It should be noted that the ASCI is not a government body and is not in full control of developing rules for the general public. The ASCI has implemented a self-regulatory code as a part of its commitment to advancing consumer interests. The advertising standards council of India also welcomes customers’ concerns regarding unfair, untruthful, or baseless allegations and ad campaigns; all these grievances are independently assessed only by the Consumer Complaints Council.
Objectives of the ASCI
The ultimate objective of the advertising standards council of India is just to promote authenticity, honesty, public morality, and social norms and to resist hazardous products. The ASCI’s goals include “tracking, handling, and promoting” standards for advertising systems in the country in order to guarantee the following:
- That advertising claims are proffered honestly and truthfully, ensuring that no false or misleading assertions are formed.
- That advertisements really aren’t created or displayed in an offensive way to the public at large in India, and also that public agency norms are abided.
- That no advertisements are made for goods or services which are deemed hazardous as well as disgraceful to individuals in society.
- That no one on the market uses unethical methods, and that adverts are made in a competitive way.
The Consumer Complaints Council
The Consumer Complaints Council is the organization in charge of examining complaints and feedback from customers and the general public concerning any infractions of the News Broadcasting Associations’ Code of Conduct and advertisement ethics. It also contains suggestions regarding how to deal with these kinds of violations.
Jurisdiction of the ASCI
Despite the absence of statutory provisions on the subject, the judicial system has debated the ASCI’s jurisdiction thoroughly. The complaint committee of the ASCI is solely responsible for self-regulation. If the advertising standards council of India finds a grievance to be legitimate, it is limited to recommending that now the advertiser take definite steps or make certain changes, but cannot grant the complainant any other relief. In the other words, the ASCI is not granted the same authority as a civilian lawsuit to decide cases and grant damages, and it may only supplement, not depose, the authority of civil courts.
To summarize, the law concerning the Advertising Standards Council of India’s authority in addressing complaints is unclear exactly. While it is stated that the ASCI has the power to make suggestions, it is unclear if the ASCI does have the authority to resolve disputes, and any disagreements and award damages to the claimant.
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