Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), founded in 1985, is dedicated to the cause of self-regulation in advertising and the protection of consumers' interests. ASCI was founded with the backing of all four advertising-related sectors: advertisers, advertising agencies, media (including broadcasters and the press), and others such as public relations firms and market research firms.

ASCI's heart and soul is the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC). This collection of distinguished individuals has provided significant momentum to ASCI's activities and self-regulation in advertising.

Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

Significant features of advertising standards council of India are −

  • The Advertisement Standards Council of India (hereafter "ASCI") was founded in 1985 under Section 25 of the Companies Act of 1956.

  • It is a "voluntary, self-regulatory council" that has been registered as a non-profit corporation.

  • A board of governors, members of the Consumer Complaints Council, and a secretariat comprise the ASCI staff.

  • The ASCI Board of Directors is comprised of a governor and 16 members from renowned businesses, including media agencies, advertisers, and others active in the advertising market.

  • It is essential to remember that the ASCI is not a government agency and is not tasked with creating laws for the general population.

  • The Consumer Complaints Council is the authority in charge of assessing and investigating complaints from customers and the general public on any violations of the News Broadcasting Association's Code of Conduct and advertisement ethics.

Functions of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)

Major functions are −

  • The ASCI has developed a self-regulatory code as part of its commitment to advancing consumer interests.

  • The ASCI also welcomes consumer complaints against unfair, untruthful, or deceptive statements and ads; all such complaints are independently reviewed by the Consumer Complaints Council.

  • ASCI detected commercials for paints, clothes, detergents, skin care, air conditioners, fans, water purifiers, plywood and laminates, supplements, and food, all of which promised COVID-related advantages.

  • In January-March 2021, it will deal with complaints against online real money gambling advertisements and will provide thorough rules for the industry.

  • It investigates whether the advertisements violate the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.

Mission of ASCI

ASCI has one overall goal: "To preserve and strengthen the public's faith in advertising."

  • ASCI strives to guarantee that ads adhere to its Code of Self-Regulation, which mandates that advertisements be accurate and fair to customers and rivals.

  • Within the confines of universally recognized public decency and propriety norms.

  • Not used in an indiscriminate manner to promote things that are dangerous or damaging to society or to people, particularly children, to an extent that is unacceptable to society at large.

ASCI Code and Guidelines

ASCI's brand extension codes and rules are as follows −

  • To be regarded as authentic, the brand extension of items like liquor, cigarettes, and so on must be registered with a relevant government entity such as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

  • In-store availability must be at least 10% that of the leading brand in the category in which the product competes, or sales revenue must surpass Rs 5 crore per year or Rs 1 crore per year in each state in which it is distributed.

  • For such turnover and distribution statistics, it must have a suitable certificate from an impartial agency.

The advertisement is terminated if it does not meet the standards or if the data presented is not approved by an impartial organization. Furthermore, advertisers are not permitted to present commercials or even hint at things that are illegal or restricted by law.

Role of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) as a self-regulatory body to curb misleading advertisements

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory and non-governmental organization that was founded in 1985. The council's members are well-known Indian companies, including advertisers, public relations firms, media and advertising agencies, and other advertising professionals. It was designed to guarantee that all advertising is lawful, respectable, honest, and true, as well as to instil a sense of social responsibility toward customers and adherence to fair competition standards. In August 2006, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a regulation requiring all TV advertising in India to use ASCI codes. The Advertising Council has become more effective and significant as a result of this change.

The primary goals of this self-regulatory agency are as follows

  • To verify the veracity and honesty of ads' promises, as well as to protect consumers from deceptive advertisements.

  • To guarantee that the advertising is neither obscene nor insulting to the general public.

  • To protect consumers from the advertising of items that are regarded as dangerous and are undesirable to society as a whole.

  • To ensure fair advertising so that consumers are adequately informed about market options and to sustain fair competition.

If an advertisement contravenes any of the above-mentioned standards, the consumer or even an industry can file a complaint with the ASCI. In fact, the Council encourages customers to submit advertisements that they believe are unfair or deceptive. When ASCI receives a complaint, it notifies the advertiser and provides him with two weeks to respond. Furthermore, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) refers the complaint and the advertiser's response to the Consumer Complaint Council for determination.

If the ASCI does not get a response from the advertiser, the Consumer Complaint Council has the authority to make an ex-parte judgment. If the advertising is deemed deceptive, the Complaint Council may request that it be modified or removed. According to an Economic Times article, ASCI evaluated 415 complaints against ads from December 2018 to January 2019. After reviewing the advertising, the Consumer Complaint Council initiated action against the marketers. These contested ads were from the education, healthcare, food and beverage, personal care, and other industries.

Throughout the recent Indian Premier League (IPL), ASCI kept a close eye on the liquor brand extensions that appeared during the game and filed complaints against eight such commercials in the previous month that allegedly violated ASCI guidelines. These were commercials for whisky, beer, and white liquor. In all of the examples mentioned, ASCI alerted the advertisers and requested a response within 24-48 hours.


To increase their capital, huge businesses try to mislead customers through unclear, deceptive, and unjust commercials that provide insufficient proof to back up their promises and provide an exaggeratedly favorable picture but subsequently turn out to be a terrible experience for the consumers. Misleading commercials have a financial, emotional, and even bodily impact on consumers. Current poor experiences can instil dread in the customer, especially during a time like this epidemic. Because commercials are successful in promoting a product and have a powerful impact on people, marketers have a moral obligation to practice and comply with the code of ethical advertising, and ASCI plays an important role in protecting consumers from deceptive advertisements.


Q1. What is the role of the Advertising Standards Council of India?

Ans. ASCI's mission is to preserve and improve public trust in advertising. Their responsibility is to ensure that all advertising content is accurate, lawful, and honest; decent and does not objectify women; safe for customers, especially children; and, last but not least, fair to competitors.

Q2. What is the importance of ASCI?

Ans. ASCI is an India-based voluntary self-regulation organization for the advertising business. ASCI is dedicated to the cause of self-regulation in advertising and works to defend consumers' interests. The body supports healthy advertising and works to maintain and increase public trust in advertising.

Q3. Who is the head of the Advertising Standards Council of India?

Ans. Rajan has worked in public relations and was the founder and managing director of Ketchum Sampark, an Omnicom Group company.

Q4. Which brand has broken the ASCI standard of advertising?

Ans. Ads from well-known companies such as PepsiCo India Holding P Ltd (Quaker Oats), SpiceJet, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (Lifebuoy Soap), Kraft Heinz India Pvt Ltd (Complan), Britannia Industries Ltd (Britannia Whole Wheat Bread), Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd,, and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd have been banned.