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S03E02: Who Approved That Ad?

S03E02: Who Approved That Ad?

We've seen our fair share of ads that make us go 'wut?' In this episode, Manisha Kapoor, Secretary General of The Advertising Council Of India (ASCI) walks us through the creative process.

Episode Transcript


Subha Chandrasekaran: Hey, morning, Hasita. Does my voice sound extremely bright and cheerful today because I brushed my teeth with the number one toothpaste in the country, and then I washed my face with the number one face wash in the country?

Hasita Krishna: And did you make sure it was sulfate and parabens free also while you were at it?

Subha Chandrasekaran: Of course, no whales, seals, birds, or elephants, nothing was harmed in the making of my soap today.

Hasita Krishna: Tell me about it. Apparently, the face cream that I've been using for the last one year has sheep extracts, which I had no idea about because I thought the brand was vegan.

But here we are, right? And I'm just, sometimes I'm quite trumped by, we are in the business of producing content, right? That's what we do. But who is filtering this content, especially in the context of advertising? I actually believe that my skincare brand was vegan for the longest time because they never made any claim.

It's just that their packaging, their morals and their ethics and their values, they just made me feel like, okay, they care.

Subha Chandrasekaran: I found out something very interesting yesterday because I was on a call with a friend of mine who's many miles away, and her daughter distracted her and she was handing over some sunscreen to her and she said, you take this.

And I heard her daughter say, where's the barcode? Because I need to scan that barcode on my app, which will tell me if it doesn't have that, it doesn't have any harmful chemicals. And I was like, wow. Even that exists and somebody's holding these guys accountable to their number one.

Hasita Krishna: But for those of us who don't scan backward, we have a guest today whose job it is to watch 8,000 ads a year apparently. And decide whether they make the cut in terms of just pulling the wool over our heads or not. Which influencer do we trust? 

And which ad is telling you the truth when it says it's Paraben-free? So let's have Manisha over. Manisha Kapoor is the CEO and Secretary General of the Advertising Standards Council of India, and she's here to talk about exactly this.

Subha Chandrasekaran: I'm really looking forward to it.

Hasita Krishna: Welcome to the Damn Good Marketing podcast. Did you know we've upgraded to being a universe? We are a damn good marketing universe now because I have decided that I'm gonna be writing as well. And go check us out on Substack. Very subtle plug. In today's conversation, especially, there's a lot of need for regulation because we don't know what we are buying and we certainly don't know what we are using.

And that's where Subha and I are having a conversation with Manisha Kapoor.

Hi Manisha. Glad to have you here.

Manisha Kapoor: Hi, I'm very glad to be here as well.

What Kind Of Work Does Manisha Do At the Advertising Standards Council of India?

Hasita Krishna: We are really looking forward to this conversation because I think we have not had a conversation so far on standards and regulations in advertising, and that's super exciting for us. So Manisha, do tell us a little bit about the kind of work that you guys do at the Advertising Standards Council of India and how you see yourself in the ecosystem of advertising today, especially.

Manisha Kapoor: Sure. The Advertising Standards Council of India or ASCI as we call it is what is called a self-regulatory body which means that the industry has voluntarily come up to say that we want to create a set of guardrails and rules around advertising. And we want a set of standards to monitor our own advertising and the reason why this is useful for advertisers, one may ask, why does anyone want their own kind of limitations as it were?

Or, why does the industry itself want to put some rules around creativity? And really the idea is that I think honest advertisers understand that good advertising, honest, responsible advertising, Is needed to build trustworthy brands. That's number one. The second thing is that advertising is a key way in which brands communicate with consumers and therefore they would like consumers to trust advertising.

And if consumers don't trust advertising because they feel that advertising is dishonest or is always lying about things. Then a very important way in which brands can talk to consumers is compromised, and therefore, in a sense, to maintain the integrity of advertising as it were.

The need to protect consumers from misleading advertising is very closely linked with that and which is why consumer interest and consumer protection from misleading ads is actually in the industry's own interest as well, and which is why you would see in fact world over that.

Advertisers do come together to set up self-regulatory organizations and the self-regulatory organizations, we set up an independent system which is, in our case, a jury to actually adjudicate to look at ads that are found violative to redress consumer issues with respect to advertising.

Even when we set up our own surveillance it's an impartial jury that is looking at ads and, and keeps the ecosystem clean and as I said make sure that advertising is something that consumers can trust.

Advertising In India, And The Law

Hasita Krishna: right, and how much of this is also related to the legal system of the country in which we operate?

Do you also filter advertising based on what is and is not said, against the law in India at this point in time? Is that part of the scope as well?

Manisha Kapoor: So they are certainly linked. A self-regulatory organization will always work under the ambit of the larger law. We can't, for example, make rules that are, let's say law permits or vice versa, that we cannot disallow something, which the law permits. So in that sense, there is a regulatory framework. I think the way we can look at it is saying that there are several ways in which advertising is regulated. So there are rules, in fact, there are several laws relating to advertising. So there are general laws like the Cable TV Network Act, which has its own advertising code.

There is the Consumer Protection Act, which talks of misleading ads, but there are also sector-specific ads. So there is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India', FSSAI which controls food advertising to a great extent. Or you could have TRAI, which looks at telecom advertising. You have the Drugs and Cosmetic Ad Act, which looks at advertisements for drugs and cosmetic products. All of these apps also have certain rules regarding. Some specific advertising, but what self-regulation does is it becomes, in a sense, a first port of call. It is.

So our code really has four tenets so one is against misleading advertisements And then we have codes against advertisements that may be considered harmful or dangerous, particularly to children et cetera. Ads that are indecent or vulgar become, again, ads that we are trying to prohibit.

Really the ambit of, what the law is versus self-regulation. It works closely together to make sure that again, as we said, the principles of advertising that we are trying to uphold are well considered.

Surrogate Advertising

Subha Chandrasekaran: Manisha, in the context of self-regulation and what is, maybe a black and white line or sometimes a grey line between what's okay and not okay to advertise.

For example, what comes to mind is brands that use surrogate products, right? Like alcohol brands may use music or CDs or water. And is that something where you have the authority to say yes, no? Is there an understood convention that, okay, this is allowed and this is, and here is where we draw the line, but this is allowed?

Manisha Kapoor: Absolutely. This area of surrogate advertising sometimes can be a little confusing for people because I think it's understood differently by different stakeholders. So one is the law itself does not permit surrogate advertising. Okay. So that's quite clear. And there are several acts that say that surrogate advertising will not be allowed.

I think the confusion arises when what is the definition of a surrogate ad. So how do we define that? Because while the law says no to surrogate advertising, it says yes to brand extensions. And these brand extensions can be extensions of flicker brands. Okay, so what is the difference between an extension, which is allowed by law versus surrogate advertising which is disallowed by law? So what we have tried to do as ASCI, is to create a certain line as you said, you know what, what will shift it over. So we have put down certain criteria for sales, turnover, and registration of these businesses.

Under the different acts where they're supposed to be registered, what is the investment level in these new ventures? So those are the kind of criteria that we try and separate out saying that, this can be considered a genuine brand extension versus this is actually surrogate ads.

So surrogate ad we say is when the business that you are looking to advertise actually does not really exist in reality. So I think that's the fine line. But yes, I would say that this is not necessarily understood uniformly by everyone. But that's the line that we have tried to draw between surrogate versus brand extensions.

Subha Chandrasekaran: So if you're claiming to make CDs, you should at least be making CDs and

Hasita Krishna: and then you are clear,

Manisha Kapoor: And then and you know that business itself has a certain turnover and you have invested a certain amount in let's say, machinery or in, in a factory or whatever.

So there are some hurdles that other brands need to cross.

What is the Difference between Offline Advertising and Digital Marketing?

Hasita Krishna: Manisha. There's also today, especially the line between digital versus what is not digital is so blurry. And Zomato's hoardings come to mind here where they became meme material and everyone was having a good time. And that's a great example of what's essentially an offline campaign, which has become online because people decided so. And then also there's that whole conversation around digital marketing being the new frontier in terms of how we talk to people. But what, in your opinion, is the difference between marketing and advertising?

Firstly and in the context of the world that we are in? Do we really have control of our campaigns anymore?

Manisha Kapoor: Yeah, I think digital really brings some very interesting challenges, and I think particularly to us as regulators. Even as you said, what's the difference between content and advertising is very blurry.

Yeah. And when you have influencers again coming into the picture it's very difficult sometimes for consumers to make out again, what is organic versus what is perhaps being paid for. So I think those are challenges. I think from our point of view, any communication to the consumer that is in some way paid for, owned, or authorized by the brand is what we would call advertising, whether or not consumers recognize it as advertising or not.

So that's a definition that at ASCI we look at when it comes to advertising. So there are some things that are not in the purview of advertising or in the purview of ASCI even though they fall under advertising. So for example, on what media does your ad come, or how often do your ads come?

Frequency of ads, placement of ads, sponsorship of events. Now those are not things that we look at. But anything to do primarily with the content of the advertising message is something that ASCI has its site over, and that is then media agnostic. If you have a campaign on print or on digital or on both places you know that for us.

That's not a key consideration, so long as it is in any consumer-facing medium even a sms message for us would constitute advertising.

Hasita Krishna: That's interesting that, and that's actually very interesting to me because what you're then gauging is the concept itself, right?

The creative and not so much, the distribution medium. Yeah. And I guess that's the only way to tame the beast today because we don't know where it might run. And you also spoke about influencers, and that's again, a very interesting subject to us here. Because what is influenced, right? And how do we quantify and influence impact?

How Can A Small Brand Advertise?

And you guys have just released this very interesting report, which says that the quantum of influencers making a phupha (big deal) on Instagram has actually gone up. And at the same time, LinkedIn influencers made an appearance on the report for the first time, in the second half of last year as well.

But if I were a B2C e-commerce brand, and already there's a lot of bets that are hedged against me as a consumer. While there are brands that I love, usually for me to discover a new brand, especially through an Instagram ad, takes about four, or five ads, and then I click on it, and I fall off.

Very rarely do I add to cart and check anything out. And then, on the other hand, my influencer trust score is also going down. And I think it's only going to be a matter of time before people also realize that not everything that an influencer is claiming is always true. So if I were a small brand, an up-and-coming brand, how do I win this digital game, really, in the context of so much mistrust when it comes to a brand?

Manisha Kapoor: Yeah, I think so there are two things in fact that, one is I think consumers recognize that content has an agenda today. I think there are very few customers or consumers that don't see that part of it. I think what they don't appreciate is if you are trying to pass off.

Content which has an agenda, organic or something that is not trying to do it. So I think the axis of trust now does not lie in the fact that, don't sell me anything. I think it just lies in the fact that if you're selling me something, be transparent about it. And consumers are also looking to Instagram.

One of the reasons. Consumers are on Instagram to make discoveries about brands, to aid their own consumption. Instagram particularly, I think is really a consumption platform more than anything else. And there is really no harm in influencers talking about brands and brands, communicating through influencers.

I think the only thing that we require is that there is a disclosure of transparency and I would in a sense say that I think influencers really have come up on the strength of their being authentic with their audiences and followers. And all they need to do is to make sure that's the same principle they apply even when they're talking about brands.

If you disclose that, this is a paid partnership, it does not automatically mean that your review is dishonest, right? But it allows the consumer to make an informed decision on whether to put weight on your advice. And we've spoken with a lot of influencers who tell us sometimes that, when brands come to them, either they don't believe in brands or sometimes they use a brand and it doesn't work for them.

That either they say that we would not like to do that promotion. So I think it's the authenticity that builds I think really the trust around influencing. And I think so long as both brands and influencers are respectful of the audience's trust I see no reasons why influencers and brands should not work closely together.

Influencer Marketing

Hasita Krishna: Fair enough. And also what I'm really hearing is that the window is still very much open to a brand to use. Influencer marketing is not dead and it's not dying anytime soon. So that's good to know.

Manisha Kapoor: No, no not certainly. I think it's only growing and which is why I think it's important for it to be built on a foundation of honesty and transparency so that it can grow. Okay. So I think that authenticity and transparency are very key to actually making sure that this industry has sustainable growth.

Subha Chandrasekaran: And, on that note of influencers may be going one step higher to celebrities given that you do so much of due diligence around the product the brand, as a standards authority, do you have celebs coming to you and saying, Hey, is it okay to advertise something or to be part of something, because it may be saves them some time and effort in, in figuring it out.

What is Due Diligence?

Manisha Kapoor: Yeah. I wish they would, we actually have a service called endorser due diligence, because now not only is it a nice-to-do thing, but it is also something that is mandated by law, right? So the Consumer Protection Act says that any endorser appearing in an ad must do their due diligence.

And if they have done their due diligence, and eventually, even if the ad is found misleading, the influencer will not be liable. But the influencer will be liable if the ad is found misleading and the influencer has no proof of due diligence. Now, what do we mean by due diligence? We recognize that influencers who are by and large actors and cricketers, may not know about cars or technology or about appliances.

And these are the products that they're endorsing. So what do you do instead? The idea is that you then talk to an expert. So let's say you are endorsing a car brand, which is claiming a certain fuel mileage then you need to reach out to a person like that who's able to tell you that yes, these claims that are made in the ad based on any evidence that the advertiser has given them, is authentic, is correct.

And I think that's the due diligence that is required. As I said, ASCI offers that service, but there would be others also that they can approach. And, it's but it's just about. Knowing that when you make a statement again to your audiences, there is a certain trust that the audiences have in you, and make sure that you are not betraying that trust.

Is the Consumer Side More Aware Now?

Hasita Krishna: Yeah, I think as consumers also, we have wisened up because we know that there are maybe standards boards and there are rules and laws of the land and every celeb can't really get away with saying whatever they want about a brand or a product. Do you find that, do you find that the consumer side is also kind of more aware of and has more opinions about what they're seeing?

Manisha Kapoor:I think both. Yes and no. I would say yes. Definitely, consumers are more aware, but I think just the ways in which advertising itself is evolving, the formats that are evolving are also not so easy for the consumers to keep track of.

And I think one of them. Questions I constantly ask myself is that with greater consumer awareness today, are consumers more vulnerable or less vulnerable? And to me, digital, and in the many avatars that it comes in again, where you can't make out the difference between content and advertising, celebrities and endorsers are all part of that ecosystem.

Yeah. It's not so easy. And I would say that even with consumer awareness, The way that digital functions I don't think as consumers we are necessarily tuned in to, let's say, how our choices are being organized online. What is the online choice architecture when I click a buy, on a certain product, and because it says that, last two left, is that a real reflection of inventory or is that something that is just to push me to buy or when you, let's say, are buying a ticket somewhere, and then at the end when you check out, you see a few other charges of insurance, and then you don't remember signing up for those, although technically you have because there's a pre tick box.

The UI/UX design works in the way that your eye works on the screen, right? Where does it go? What does it highlight versus what does it subdue or suppress? And those are again, ways in which. Our online consumption or purchase or information about products and services can be manipulated.

And sometimes that may not always be in our interest. So I would say that just the nature of digital and the kind of specific information that. Brands today can have about you, is something that I don't think consumers are completely aware of or tuned into in terms of online safety.

Role of AI in Advertising

Hasita Krishna: Yeah. Manisha. I also think that this is the year of artificial intelligence and I think we are making such strides. It's stunning sometimes in terms of what comes up and deep fakes and videos of celebrities. In fact, a lot of marketing campaigns have actually leveraged deep fakes as a way to say, Hey, here's a campaign that is not by this person, but still here is a person.

And as a consumer, then the onus has been placed on me to be aware of how the ad was made in the first place, or to know that, hey, a bit of this campaign is an inside joke. But at the same time, there are certain things that are slight, I would reduce my barrier of how much influence I would be under if a Priyanka Chopra were advertising something versus someone else.

Especially with the advent of AI and the potential to basically generate whatever it is that we want. How do you see the role of a body like ASCI evolving, especially in this year, and what kinds of steps and measures would you be putting in place?

Manisha Kapoor: No, absolutely. I think. Even with ai, I would say the principles still remain the same, right?

When a consumer gets misled by any representation in an ad then that would be a misleading ad for us. Whether it's been made by an individual or a creative or handwritten or generated by ai doesn't matter. I think there are two aspects to this. One is also from The perspective of the individual or an institution that has been portrayed in a manner which is not necessarily with their consent.

So in fact, we have a very specific provision that the use of pictures or images or any kind of reference to an individual or an institution without their consent is something which is not allowed under the ASCI code. And if you recollect a couple of years back we had.

And a tech company that was selling to children coding used the names of some really big names in the world of technology, all the big founders and, obviously it was done with their, without their knowledge or permission. And, again, that was found to be violative of the ASCI Code.

So I think there are both things. So one is, The responsibility towards the individuals that you're portraying. And are you doing that with consent? And the other is, are you misrepresenting that these individuals are actually endorsing or are part of your organisation or believe in your product when they're not?

And that's how you're cheating the consumer as well. So both these things whether it is generated by AI or not will find themselves being violated by the Ask E Code.

Moral Aspects of Ads

Hasita Krishna: Fair enough. We have a question for you on the moral aspect of certain ads, and obviously there's no judgement here.

It's just a question of ads that are within the legal ambit, in fact but the public perception around them may have. Not very positive. And we've had an instance of Tanishq running a series of ads which resulted in some of the stores needing to be shut down, the safety of their employees being under threat, which is obviously a very extreme example.

And more recently, we also had Starbucks put out an ad on the LGBTQA community which Legally it's well within its rights, but then the reception to it was extremely harsh and hostile. Typically when it comes to ads of this nature wherein, there is always a certain quantum of polarising that's possible.

What is your stand on that? Do you advise on aspects like these or is it completely within the creative control of the brand?

Manisha Kapoor: No, certainly. I wonder what it is. Legally permissible is something that can be advertised. And I think what our court says is that, it should not denigrate any person, class should not cause widespread harm or, should not cause widespread outrage.

Now what does this mean? And we had some very interesting examples actually even within ASCI, and so I'll come back to the Tanishq case. In fact I'll talk to you about it. But another example I want to give you is, a few years back an advertisement for a brand called Rio Sanitary Pads.

And which I think for the first time showed blood and red colour in a sanitary napkin ad. And there was a huge outrage. There were people who were very upset. We had a lot of complaints, including from women. And the ad was deliberated within our jury, and I think it really split the jury as well.

Where a lot of people felt that, this is natural and what is really the problem in showing things the way they are versus others who felt it's never been shown like this or it, you get taken aback and stuff. And actually the jury gave a decision against the advertiser.

But I think the advertiser really had a lot of. Conviction and what they were doing. And, within ASCI we also have an appeals mechanism, so they appealed against the decision. And in an appeals mechanism, we have a retired high court judge who looks at these cases.

And it was very interesting the judgement that was given in that case where they said that it has to cause both a widespread and a grave offence. Now what is a grave offence? Is this something which is really going to impact the lives of people? Is this something which is causing harm to society?

Is that a grave harm? What is a grave harm is something like a murder or, those are things that you call a grave in nature. This is a process which is natural in a woman's life. And you know why? You can understand the response of people. The fact is that this is not a grave issue.

And therefore, the decision was given back in favour of the advertiser. So we've also read through a few judgements given not just at ASCI, but in courts. And I think the courts are quite clear in terms of what freedom of expression is and the fact that.

These ads or any kind of content. So whether it's ads or films or whatever needs to be seen from the point of view of an ordinary citizen and not a hypersensitive one. So these are part of the judgments given by codes. Okay? So that's the principle for us to apply. Most of the ads that you've mentioned, if they have come to ASCI usually the verdict has gone in favour of the advertiser, including the Tanishq Ad.

I think, however, from an advertiser point of view, particularly when it becomes a law and order issue or it becomes an issue of employee safety then they have to turn to the legal machinery to protect that freedom of speech, which is guaranteed under the Constitution.

And, there are a lot of legal cases and judgments that protect. That freedom. And like I said they very clearly say that these have to be taken from the point of view of an ordinary individual and a regular citizen and not a hypersensitive one. So I think there are some lessons here, but yeah, I think having said that for a brand, sometimes this ends up in campaign disruption.

And my take on that is that, the brands should touch upon these subjects if they truly believe in it. Otherwise if you're just doing it because it's convenient and because you feel this is a cause of the day, then I would say be careful because this could backfire and you have to be willing to say that if there is an opinion against it, but I believe in this cause so much or it's so integrated with what my brand stands for, that I will defend it.

Subha Chandrasekaran: Yeah, I think that has well worked well for brands under the Tata umbrella because even with Starbucks while there they were polarising views there were also voices that said, Hey, but they do this kind of stuff and they've done it before in a Tanishq or in a Titan, or, in another brands.

And so we know that they talk about things which they want to and which they feel need to be talked about. So I guess a brand also has to make a start somewhere. Yeah.

Hasita Krishna: Yeah. So Manisha, we'll do a segment now. It's like about five minutes and it's just a fun lighthearted segment and we'll ask you a couple of questions and we can then.

Manisha Kapoor: You're gonna ask me about my favourite ad.

Everyone asks me. I always get stumped.

Topic-Al Segment: Most Bizarre Ad

Hasita Krishna: So Manisha, this segment is called Topical and topical is a cat. For reasons that we are also trying, still trying to figure out. But the question we have for you is what's the most bizarre ad that you've rejected? You said, no, this cannot be running.

Manisha Kapoor: So I think under Covid there were a lot of ads. We had a mattress. Promising that you would not have covid. So they were really bizarre. There. was even a mobile app that said that, if you install this app, you will not get covid. So those were, I think, really bizarre kinds of promises to make.

And they were also particularly dangerous because consumers were so vulnerable at that point of time. You people had seen illness and death around them, and they were really, I think, willing to do a lot of things. Yeah. To keep themselves safe. I would say, the ads, particularly if you play around health when it comes to consumers, I would say that those ads certainly deserve not to be there.

Strangest WhatsApp Forward

Subha Chandrasekaran: Fair enough. So in that same vein, what is the strangest or most known illogical WhatsApp forward that you have received? Because that's a playground for anything and everything.

Manisha Kapoor: Yeah, I think WhatsApp forward I would say each one is.

Sometimes more bizarre than the others. I think there's clearly a very hot competition, even for the number one spot. But yeah, all sorts of things really, I think right from, do this and pass it on to 10 people and it gets you bad luck. So all those kinds of chain messages are just, I think bizarre, reinterpretations of history too and I think the sad part is that, while some of them.

May just be irritants, but I think some of them actually cause real harm. They shape consumer perceptions or, citizens, our perceptions get shaped. Especially when you see certain kinds of messages coming consistently. So I think again, I think if authenticity and transparency is something that we can all strive to and one of the things I always keep telling people is that if you get a message, at least don't pass it on without checking yourself.

And the other important thing that I do is to call it out because a lot of us also ignore this, right? We said, okay, this is coming. We know it's not true. I dunno who's gonna fight with all these messages. So I think it's also a time for each of us who want. To gain authenticity from the environment. And we want to see authentic things to also then call out and stand for things in some ways.

Subha Chandrasekaran: So on a good day, Manisha, how many ads do you watch?

Hasita Krishna: How many do you reject?

Manisha Kapoor: Manisha Yeah, so our complaints team is very busy. They're the ones scrutinising ads. I think last year we did close to 8,000 ads in the year, So that's really a lot of ads that ASCI, collectively we see.

Sometimes it's great fun also to see ads and, sometimes even if they're bizarre and violate the ASCI code, sometimes we look at this and say, God what's happening? But yeah, we see a lot of advertising.

The good, bad, ugly, all of, all varieties

Subha Chandrasekaran: I think thank you to folks like you who make sure that there's a filter in. We see only the good ones.

Hasita Krishna: Seriously. I'm just like, right now I'm just thinking how much have we not seen? If we are already watching the ones we are and we are laughing about them, then thank you.

Thank you for doing the hard work and making sure that the space is as clean as it gets, but what do you see in terms of trends over the next two, three years? Where do you think advertising is headed?

What Are The Upcoming Advertising Trends?

Manisha Kapoor: So I think one of the big areas that we are focusing on is actually the preventive footprint.

So advertising will continue on digital and as I said, that kind of brings its own set of unique challenges. Campaign durations are so short by the time a consumer reports and a, the campaign is over like I said, blurring lines between content and advertising.

And I think that really. Pushes us to think that. Regulation and self-regulation need to be vibrant at the point of creation of the advertising. Whatever we do in the corrective space, once an ad has been published and it's out there for consumers to see, even if we catch it very soon, let's say only a small segment of consumers have seen it.

The fact is that it has already in some way caused some harm. And I think the idea and one of the big initiatives that we are taking and we are constantly pushing at is, besides the corrective work, which obviously we need to do, and we will continue to do, we've done investments in artificial intelligence to monitor ads.

So while ads are being created, we also need to do a bit. But I think the whole emphasis is on how we can educate, how we can create a more aware advertising and a more responsible advertising industry itself. So to that end, we've been doing a lot of work on key issues in advertising.

We do a lot of reports that we are working on. We are setting up an entire infrastructure called the ASCI Academy which is actually going to work with the industry, with students who are going to come into the industry. So you would student footprint as well to really raise the standards of advertising, as it were, how do you make advertising more responsible, more progressive?

And because we do recognize that advertising is a big force in society. It shapes society. Yeah. And therefore, I think progressive and responsible advertising is something that we must drive. So that for us is a big area of work. And so while advertising we know will continue to get more complex through technology and through digital, I think what we are doing is almost going back to basics and say that, when you are making an ad, Can you have a sense of what the rules are and a basic sense of what can or can't be done, even if you're not a legal expert so that when you make the ad, you make it right in the first place.

How do we get the industry to get it right rather than having to correct it later?

So I think those become the newer ways in which advertising is engaging with consumers and I think where people are advertising is and where advertising is, ASCI will follow.

Hasita Krishna: Amazing. Yeah, no, that was beautiful and I think the Academy idea especially appeals to me because I think a lot of us have just found our way into the creative industry.

It's not very heavily regulated in the sense that only if you've studied mass communication, you'll be in advertising. That's never been the case. So I think baseline education, especially in the context that you spoke about on the one hand we are headed so rapidly towards a world that's run on ai.

And on the other hand, I think climate change is a cause that is very dear to my heart as well. And we are also thinking about what communication means in that context, right? So we are very excited to see that report and we wish you the best. And thank you so much for spending time with us today.

Manisha Kapoor: No, thank you. Absolute pleasure talking to both of you and very happy to have been a part of this conversation. Thank you.


Manisha Kapoor:

Hasita Krishna: Thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of The Damn Good Marketing Podcast. Now, part of the damn good marketing universe, I hope to be able to say that someday without breaking into a fit of giggles,

Subha Chandrasekaran: This is brought to you by some Damn Good Marketing Products.

Hasita Krishna: Yeah, if you have any complaints about the nomenclature, please feel free to reach out to us on LinkedIn even otherwise, do come to say hi.

We always like hearing from you. Thank you. Bye. 

Damn Good Marketing
The Damn Good Podcast
Welcome to The Damn Good Podcast! For season 4 (of which we don't know how many episodes we will do), we have dropped the 'Marketing' to better reflect the fact that Subha and I are both human and are therefore prone to change. We're talking culture, and being two unknowns in the world of creatorship.
Hasita Krishna is a brand strategist and the founder of Motley Crew, a writer, a climate action advocate, and a SCUBA diver. Find her on Instagram @hasita.krishna
Subha C is the founder of RainKraft, a career growth coach, and a podcast host. She's on LinkedIn @Subha Chandrasekaran.
© 2024 The Damn Good Podcast. We know this is the era of deepfakes and remasters and whatnot. We also don't presume we are that famous. If you'd like to share our content for commercial gain (that's funny), please contact us first. Otherwise, feel free to share away. Any Instagram reel produced from this podcast will be considered to have been taken out of context, unless otherwise specified. By us.