In­ter-Min­is­te­rial Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee can serve as the miss­ing ex­ec­u­tive arm to ASCI

FICCI Business Digest - - Front Page -

MSec­re­taryanoj Parida, Joint

of Min­istry of Con­sumer Af­fairs (MoCA), has ac­knowl­edged sel­f­reg­u­la­tion when it comes to deal­ing with mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments, at the same time he stated that it is im­por­tant to have pow­er­ful ex­e­cu­tion backed by a Gov­ern­ment Author­ity. At a round ta­ble or­gan­ised by FICCI on 'Mis­lead­ing Ad­ver­tise­ments' in New Delhi on May 13, 2014, he ap­pre­ci­ated the ef­forts of Ad­ver­tis­ing Stan­dards Coun­cil of In­dia (ASCI) in com­mit­ting it­self to the cause of self-reg­u­la­tion in ad­ver­tis­ing and en­sur­ing the pro­tec­tion of the in­ter­ests of con­sumers.

Parida sug­gested that the new­ly­formed In­ter-Min­is­te­rial Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee, which has been con­sti­tuted with the sole aim of mon­i­tor­ing mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments for pro­tect­ing con­sumers, could serve as the miss­ing ex­ec­u­tive arm to ASCI. The Com­mit­tee will mon­i­tor mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ment and un­fair trade prac­tices and sug­gest steps ac­cord­ingly, he added.

Ku­rush Grant, Chair­man, FICCI FMCG Com­mit­tee & ED, ITC Ltd., said that FICCI has planned an in­ter­ac­tion with all the key stake­hold­ers on ev­ery as­pect of mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments. The stake­hold­ers be­ing the NGOs and con­sumer fo­rums, industry, sel­f­reg­u­la­tory body and the gov­ern­ment and it is worth to record that all the four seg­ments have unan­i­mously agreed to work to­wards sim­i­lar so­lu­tion of em­pow­er­ing self-reg­u­la­tion. FICCI would work closely with ASCI and the Min­istry of Con­sumer Af­fairs to tackle the menace caused by mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the role of ASCI and its fu­ture plan, Partha Rak­shit, Chair­man, ASCI, said that ob­tain­ing le­gal author­ity for en­forc­ing com­pli­ance of ASCI de­ci­sions on print ad com­plaints as it has for TV (Cable TV Act) is one of the top most pri­or­i­ties and urged the gov­ern­ment to fa­cil­i­tate the process. ASCI plans to cover so­cial me­dia (in in­ter­net) more ex­ten­sively. It is also launch­ing an on­line train­ing pro­gramme on ASCI reg­u­la­tions tar­geted at young copy­writ­ers, agency ex­ec­u­tives and prod­uct man­agers in manufacturing/ser­vice com­pa­nies to make them aware of the guide­lines.

Speak­ing on con­sumer rights and reme­dies with re­gard to mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments, Ruth Anna Buet­tner, Di­rec­tor – Con­sumer Pol­icy & Pro­tec­tion, GIZ, said that mis­lead­ing and un­fair prac­tices were a global phe­nom­e­non. She added that the pur­pose of reg­u­la­tion should be proper func­tion­ing of mar­kets and pro­tec­tion of in­di­vid­ual con­sumer, mainly his con­trac­tual rights. World­wide there are two ways of en­force­ment, one via pub­lic author­ity, the other via courts, both ac­com­pa­nied by self-reg­u­la­tion in­sti­tu­tions.

De­lib­er­at­ing on the reg­u­la­tory frame­work for mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments, Aazmeen Kasad, Owner, Aazmeen Kasad and Law Prac­tice Con­sul­tant, said that to keep a vigil on the in­creas­ing in­ci­dents of mis­lead­ing ad­ver­tise­ments, the Cen­tral Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Coun­cil (CCPC), apex body for con­sumer pro­tec­tion in In­dia, has re­cently de­cided to draft guide­lines to safe­guard con­sumer in­ter­est from false ad­ver­tise­ments in the coun­try and set up a sub-com­mit­tee to sug­gest strate­gies to deal with celebrity en­dorse­ments.

Dr. Arbind Prasad, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, FICCI, also ad­dressed the ses­sion.

Dr. Arbind Prasad, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral, FICCI (left) pre­sent­ing a Green Cer­tifi­cate to Manoj Parida, Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Con­sumer Af­fairs.

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