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Govt. releases fresh guidelines for celebs and social media influencers to protect consumers
Endorsement Guidelines
Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, released the "Endorsement Know-hows!"

Govt. releases fresh guidelines for celebs and social media influencers to protect consumers

| @indiablooms | 20 Jan 2023, 10:43 pm

New Delhi: The government on Friday released endorsement guidelines for celebrities and social media influencers to protect their audiences from being misled when they promote products or services.

Celebrities and social media influencers will be bound by the Consumer Protection Act and any associated rules or guidelines.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution released a guide titled ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’ for influencers stipulating them to make proper disclosures.

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, while releasing the "Endorsement Know-hows!" said, "In this the rapidly growing digital world, where advertisements are no longer limited to traditional media there is an increase in reach of digital platforms and social media, and with these we are seeing a rise in virtual influencers, in addition to the mainstream celebrities.

"This has led to an increased risk of consumers being misled by advertisements and unfair trade practices by these individuals on social media platforms."

"Endorsements must be made in simple, clear language and terms such as 'advertisement,' 'sponsored,' or 'paid promotion' can be used. They should not endorse any product or service and service in which due diligence has been done by them or that they have not personally used or experienced."

The "Endorsement Know-hows!" specify that disclosures must be prominently and clearly displayed in the endorsement, making them extremely hard to miss.

Any celebrity or influencer who has access to an audience and can influence their purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand, or experience must disclose any material connection with the advertiser.

"This includes not only benefits and incentives but also monetary or other compensation, trips or hotel stays, media barters, coverage and awards, free products with or without conditions, discounts, gifts and any family or personal or employment relationship," the new guidelines said.

Multiple social media influencers and agencies participated via video conferencing in the press conference to release the guidelines.

The industry appreciated and supported the release of these guidelines. They stated that this will further strengthen the industry and protect consumer interests.

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