The Indian government has issued new guidelines for social media influencers. As per the rules, social media influencers must clearly label sponsored content using the terms such as ‘advertisement’, ‘sponsored’, or ‘paid promotion’.
Those who do not comply will have to face fines of up to Rs 10 lakh for first-time offences and Rs 50 lakh for repeat offences. The influencers may also face a 6-month ban. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Foor and Public Distribution released the guidelines in line with the Consumer Protection Act of 2019 to safeguard consumers from false claims.
There has been a rise in the number of influencers with the growing reach of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And, the government wants to ensure that consumers are protected. The rules are applicable to celebrities and influencers who can influence people’s purchasing decisions.
The influencers must disclose any material connection with the advertiser such as benefits, incentives, monetary or other compensation, trips or hotel stays, coverage, awards, free products with or without conditions, gifts, discounts, family, personal or employment relationships. The disclosures must be prominently and clearly displayed, making them hard to miss. Moreover, influencers are advised not to endorse any product or service they have not personally experienced.