Govt Explains Guidelines for Paid Endorsements by Social Media Influencers

Picture Source: Internet

On Monday, the government explained guidelines for paid endorsements by social media influencers, clarifying what it means to use the words advertising, sponsorship, collaboration or paid promotion.

In January, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs issued guidelines requiring influencers, including virtual avatars, to disclose their material relationships when endorsing products.

The department later acknowledged that the guidelines had confused. It now says that for paid or barter brand endorsements, any of the following disclosure methods can be used: advertising, advertising, sponsorship, collaboration or partnership. The term must be represented as a hashtag or title text.

“The social media influencer market size in India last year was Rs 1,275 crore, and by 2025, it may reach Rs 2,800 crore. There are more than 1 lakh social media influencers with real influence, this needs to be checked,” the ministry said.

The guidelines, released in January, said individuals should not endorse any product or service they have not used or experienced themselves or conducted due diligence on.

“Influencers who do not disclose their material connection to a product or service comply with the rule only if they have used or experienced the product or service in the past,” it said.

The department makes it clear that individuals or groups with access to audiences and the power to influence purchasing decisions or opinions about products, services, brands or experiences should disclose material ties that could affect the significance or credibility of their statements.

It also states that the disclosure must be placed in the endorsement in a manner that is clear, prominent and difficult to miss.

Disclosure and endorsement should use the same language, the guidance said. Also, for platforms with limited space, like Twitter, hashtags with short-term terms like “ad,” “sponsored,” and “paid” are acceptable.

In image endorsements, the disclosure should be overlaid on an image large enough for viewers to notice. In contrast, video content should be placed in the video, not just in the description. It should be in audio and video format.

However, in live broadcasts, disclosure should be made in audio and visual form and displayed consistently and prominently.

Get Daily Prediction & Stocks Tips On Your Mobile