Ministry of Consumer Affairs has laid down the norms of endorsement for celebrities and influencers
Ministry of Consumer Affairs “Consent Know-How!” issued guidelines. Celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers on social media platforms are required to disclose their material association with a brand, service or organization, including free products, contests and sweepstakes, travel or hotel stays, media exchanges, coverage and awards.
The guidelines aim to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audience while endorsing products or services and that they comply with the Consumer Protection Act and relevant rules or guidelines.
According to the guidelines, if there is material connection between social media influencers and a brand, sponsored posts should be published as paid content as soon as possible, failing which they will be banned from publishing for six months and fined Rs.10. lakh and up to 50 lakh for repeat offence.
The guidelines state that endorsements must be made in simple, clear language and use terms such as “advertisement,” “sponsorship,” “affiliation” or “paid promotion.” Individuals should not endorse any product or service that they have not personally used or experienced, or performed due diligence on.
Such guidelines apply to all persons who have access to the audience and those who have the power to influence the audience’s decisions.
The Department has observed that there is confusion as to which disclosure term should be used for which type of partnership. Therefore, a paid or bartered brand endorsement may use any of the following expressions: “advertisement,” “advertisement,” “sponsor,” “cooperation,” or “partnership.” However, this term must be specified as a hashtag or caption text.
Influencer/celebrity refers to individuals or groups who, because of their power, knowledge, position, or relationship, have access to an audience and the power to influence their audience’s purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand, or experience. With their audience, to express.
The guidelines state that the disclosure must be placed in the consent message in a clear, prominent and difficult-to-miss manner. Disclosures should not be confused with hashtags or groups of links. Endorsements in an image require the disclosures to be superimposed on the image enough for viewers to notice. For endorsements on video or live stream, disclosures must be made in both audio and video and must be displayed continuously and prominently throughout the entire stream.
The guidelines advise celebrities and influencers to always review and satisfy themselves that the advertiser is in a position to substantiate the claims made in the ad. It is also recommended that the product and service should be actually used or experienced by the authorized person.
In conclusion, the guidelines aim to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audience when endorsing products or services and that they comply with the Consumer Protection Act and relevant rules or guidelines. It is essential that celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers adhere to these guidelines to maintain transparency and credibility with their audience.