Are you offended or upset by an advertisement? Take instant action. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has introduced a facility whereby complaints regarding ads can be sent via WhatsApp.

ASCI Chairman Benoy Roychowdhury said technology has now made it possible for the conscientious consumer to “flag false, misleading or offensive ads instantaneously and anytime anywhere while on the go – be it while reading newspapers at home, on their way to office, listening to radio or watching TV in the evening.”

All they have to do is to take a snap of the offending advertisement, and WhatsApp it to +91-77100 12345.

“Consumers can send pictures of print ads, hoardings, packaging or screen shots of websites, or links of YouTube videos,” an ASCI press release said. The advertisement watchdog will scrutinize the posts, and, providing the details of the sender are complete – name, e-mail ID, etc., – and the complaint is valid, action will be taken.

Complainants will be kept posted on developments by SMS and e-mail. There will be no fee for processing the complaints.

“ASCI is truly empowering consumers by making it more accessible,” Roychowdhury said.


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