Errant advertisers could face more heat from industry watch dog ASCI, which has jumped on the social networking bandwagon, encouraging youths to speak out against questionable campaigns through its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Within a month of making its debut on Facebook and Twitter, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has already received ten times more complaints against advertisements than the earlier average of 15-20 complaints from individuals and industry against 12 advertisements in a month.

“By being on the social networking sites, ASCI is targeting the youth who are very active on such platforms to come up and register comments or complaints against advertisements and thus help in regulating the industry,” ASCI General Secretary, Mr Allan Collaco, told PTI.

He said the response on ASCI’s Facebook and Twitter account has been very encouraging so far.

“In order to make people aware about the new initiative, ASCI will launch a mass media campaign in the next 10-15 days,” Mr Collaco added.

ASCI’s wall on Facebook, for instance, is full of posts from individuals and people from the advertising fraternity on the latest updates in the industry, issues and concerns.

There are also a number of posts demanding a ban on advertisements that are indecent, vulgar and suggestive and breach the ASCI’s code of self-regulation.

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February 2024