Know-Hows: Government releases guidelines for social media influencers

Story by: Priya Raghuvanshi
Designed by: Mohsin

Social media influencers must use words like ‘paid promotion’, ‘ad’ or ‘sponsored’ in endorsements, said government as part of its new guidelines

Govt releases guidelines for
social media influencers

The government mandated in January that social media influencers reveal their 'material' financial interests in promoting goods and services. Violations are punishable by harsh judicial action, including a ban on endorsements

Mandate released in
January 2023

The Dept of Consumer Affairs, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, released a set of guidelines called "Endorsements Know-Hows!" for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers on social media platforms

Endorsements Know-Hows!

The guidelines aim to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services and that they are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and any associated rules or guidelines

Guidelines aimed at clarity

The guidelines state that endorsements must be made in simple, clear language and individuals must not endorse any product or service that they have not personally used or experienced

Endorsement terms
should be clearer

Govt stated that for paid or barter brand endorsement, words like "advertisement," "ad," "sponsored," "collaboration," or "partnership" must be used as disclosure and must be indicated as a hashtag or headline text

Terms for a paid partnership

The guidelines state that the disclosure must be placed in the endorsement message in a manner that is clear, prominent, and extremely hard to miss and should not be mixed with a group of hashtags or links

Message should be loud
and clear

For endorsements in a picture, disclosures should be superimposed over the image enough for viewers to notice and displayed continuously and prominently during the entire stream

Declaration in a

All influencers, either micro or big ones, like Bhuvan Bam, Prajakta Koli, Virat Kohli, Shah Rukh Khan, will come under the guidelines released by the government for any paid promotion on social media platforms

Influencers under the radar

Guidelines soon for
financial influencers

Markets watchdog Sebi will come out with a discussion paper to frame guidelines to control unsolicited financial advice from social media influencers and also from unregulated investment advisors

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