New Guidelines for social media influencers accepting paid promotions by Government
According to the ministry’s announcement, celebrities, and other public figures, as well as online “influencers,” will soon be required to declare any financial relationships with products or services they promote. Government releases guidelines for social media influencers accepting paid promotions
The ministry of consumer affairs announced a new policy on “endorsements-know-hows” on Friday. As per the new guidelines, public figures who endorse a product or service must reveal any financial ties they may have to the business that produces it. Examples of these kinds of perks include freebies like products or trips, discounted or free lodging, and even media bartering, coverage, and awards.
At issue in all this debate is the consumer’s right to know. It is the duty of the advertiser, endorser, celebrity, or influencer to provide the consumer with all relevant information before the consumer makes a purchasing decision.
These incentives and benefits are prohibited.
According to guidelines for social media influencers, A material connection could consist of, but is not limited to, perks and incentives such as the following:
• Monetary or other compensation;
• Free products with or without any conditions attached, including those received unsolicited, discounts, gifts;
• Contest and sweepstakes entries;
• Trips or hotel stays;
• Media barters;
• Coverage and awards; or
• Any family, personal, or employment relationship.
How to Disclose
The new guidelines specify who must disclose when they must disclose, and how.
Individuals or groups who have access to an audience and the ability to influence their audiences’ purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand, or experience because of the influencer’s/authority, celebrity’s knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience are required to disclose.
The disclosure should take place “when there is a material connection between an advertiser and a celebrity/influencer that may affect the weight or credibility of the celebrity/representation,” according to Mr. Khare. The disclosures should be included in the endorsement message in a clear, prominent, and difficult-to-miss location. Disclosures should not be used in conjunction with hashtags or links.
In guidelines for social media influencers disclosures in a photograph should be superimposed so that viewers notice them. Video disclosures should be made in both audio and video format, not just in the description, and in both audio and video format. During a live stream, disclosures should be displayed continuously and prominently. She claims that terms like ‘XYZAmbassador’ (where XYZ is a brand) are also acceptable on limited-space platforms like Twitter.
The Consumer Protection Act, whose overarching goal is to protect consumers from deceptive business practices, has seen the release of new regulations, as announced by the Secretary of Commerce. “Misleading advertising to try to sell a product that is not in the way that it is portrayed in the ad is one of the most dangerous forms of unfair trading practices.
Celebrities and influencers should verify ads’ claims.
Guidelines for social media influencers “Celebrities and influential people should always check the authenticity of advertisements to ensure that the products live up to the claims that are made in the advertisements. The standard procedure is as such.” The division also suggests that the endorser use the product or service for themselves before making an endorsement.
The department also issued a warning to influencers and celebrities, stating that if they fail to disclose any material connection or noncompliance with the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 and the Rules promulgated thereunder, they will be subject to strict legal action. The department accomplished this by noting that violators would be liable for such action if they failed to disclose any material connection.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 establishes the framework for safeguarding consumers against misleading advertising and unfair business practices.
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