India has adopted endorsement criteria to prevent unfair business practises and deceptive online advertising as the country’s market for social media influencers grows.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 requires social media influencers to disclose promotional content, and the Department of Consumer Affairs released new rules requiring this on Friday.
Social media influencers who violate the rules might face a punishment of up to $12,300. (1 million Indian rupees). The Indian government department stated that the punishment for repeat violators might reach $61,600 (5 million Indian rupees).
The government made it clear that both virtual avatars and social media influencers marketing goods and services online must abide by the rules. The disclosures have to be clear to see in the post descriptions, which are typically where you can locate hashtags or links. According to the department, it must also be evident enough in the material.
1. Government advise.
The government advised that disclosures for sponsored promotions should be made in both audio and video format and put in the video itself, not only in the description, when it comes to promoted content in videos. According to the rules, influencers must also disclose if they use livestreams to advertise a company, service, or good.
According to the department, disclosures and endorsements must be made in the same language as the material.
The rules announced today are intended for social media influencers who have a tangible relationship with the brand they want to promote on different social media platforms. So they have a responsibility to act responsibly,” Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary of the consumer affairs department, told reporters.
2. According to the official
the department and IT firms are discussing the use of crawling algorithms to identify offenders. If customers discover an influencer breaking the rules, they can register complaints, the secretary added.
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“You can never fully cover it. This is a game of cat and mouse… The goal is to safeguard the interests of the consumer and prevent him from being duped by portraying something as objective when it is, in fact, compensated, he continued.
The secretary estimated that India’s market for social media influencers would be worth $157 million in 2022. By 2025, it might amount to $345 million.
Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the self-regulatory authority for the Indian advertising industry, has praised the government’s action.
“This legal support for disclosure standards is a positive step, as influencer infractions account for approximately 30% of the advertising taken up by ASCI. In order to evaluate the numerous international regulations on influencers, the [consumer affairs] ministry had contacted ASCI, according to Manisha Kapoor, CEO and secretary general of ASCI.