Government issues guidelines for social media influencers

The Centre has released on Friday the endorsement guidelines for celebrities and social media influencers that mandates compulsory

On Friday, the government required social media influencers to disclose “significant” interest in endorsing products and services. Violators may face severe legal action, including a ban on endorsements.

The regulation is a continuation of measures to curb misleading advertising and protect consumer interests amid the growing social influencer market expected to reach approximately Rs 2.8 crore by 2025. is part of the effort.

Failure to do so will result in prescribed penalties for misleading advertising under the Consumer Protection Act 2019.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can fine manufacturers, advertisers, and promoters up to Rs. Further violations can result in fines of up to Rs 50,000.

Minister of Consumer Affairs Rohit Kumar Singh announced these guidelines at a press conference stating that the guidelines are issued under the Consumer Law to protect consumers from unfair trade practices and misleading advertising. provided a framework for doing so.

he hoped the guidelines would serve as a deterrent to social influencers on his media.

A major social media influencer with a sizeable following count over 1 million people in the country,” said Singh.

Pointing out that social media influence is entrenched and will only grow exponentially, Social he said influencers need to act responsibly.

“Today’s guidelines are aimed at social media influencers who have a substantive connection with the brands they wish to promote on various social media platforms.

“One of the major paradigms in consumer law is the consumer’s right to information, and this falls into this area.

Consumers need to know if something is being thrown at them by digital media, if the person or company they are sponsoring is getting paid, or if they are affiliated with the brand in some way.” Mr Singh said.

Secretary said there is a legal provision that in the event of non-compliance, people can contact the authorities for legal action against non-compliance.

“These guidelines broadly define this framework for how social media influencers should disclose their relationships with brands,” said the secretary. , Nidhi Khare warned that the law prohibits misleading advertising in any form, format, or medium.

Individuals/groups who, because of an influencer’s authority, knowledge, status, or relationship, have the power to access and influence their purchasing decisions or opinions about products, services, brands, or experiences according to new standards to disclose their audience.

Disclosures should be placed in acknowledgment messages in a way that is clear, conspicuous, and very difficult to miss. Disclosures should not be mixed with groups of hashtags or links.

If you’re recommending an image, your disclosure should overlap the image enough for the viewer to notice. Disclosures must be in the video as well as the description and must be in both audio and video format.

For live streams, information should be continuous and prominent throughout the stream.

On platforms with limited storage like Twitter, terms like “XYZAmbassador” (where XYZ is a brand) could also be used, she said.

Secretary said that these guidelines are issued within the full scope of the Consumer Protection Act and that one of her most important principles of the Act is the prevention of practices.

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