Centre Releases ‘Endorsement Guidelines’ For Celebs And Social Media Influencers

The Centre on Friday released a guide ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’ aimed at celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers on social media platforms.

The guide looks to ensure that the influential people do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services and that they are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and any associated rules or guidelines.

“With the increasing reach of digital platforms and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, there has been a rise in the influence of virtual influencers, in addition to celebrities and social media influencers. This has led to an increased risk of consumers being misled by advertisements and unfair trade practices by these individuals on social media platforms,” Centre said in a statement.

The guidelines asks influencers to disclose the endorsement by “prominently and clearly” displaying the same so that its hard to miss. It also says that any celebrity, influencer or virtual 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. And this would include not just the 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.

According to the guidelines, 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 guide has been released in alignment with the guidelines set by the Consumer Protection Act of 2019. The Act established guidelines for protecting consumers from unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.

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