In order to enable consumers to easily recognize promotional content on digital platforms, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has released draft guidelines for influencer advertising on digital media.

The guidelines for influencers advertising on digital media will be available for all stakeholders, including industry, digital influencers as well as consumers for feedback till March 8, 2021. Based on the feedback and inputs, the final guidelines will be issued by ASCI by March 31, 2021. This guideline will be applicable to all promotional posts published on or after April 15, 2021.

 

Soon, social media influencers will be required to make disclosures regarding promotional content to ensure transparency regarding their paid partnerships with brands. Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is releasing draft guidelines for influencer advertising on digital platforms and expects to finalize them by March-end, after a public consultation.

Disclosure labels should be visible within the first two lines of any given platform, as per guideline, “Advertisements must be obviously distinguishable by the average consumer from editorial and independent user-generated content, to prevent the audience from being confused between the two. Therefore, a disclosure label must be added from the list of approved labels,” the proposed guidelines state.

 


“The digital space is vast. However, promotional content is often indistinguishable from regular posts. Consumers have the right to easily recognize promotional content. The guidelines will help consumers identify promotional content and also guide digital influencers,” Subhash Kamath, chairman, ASCI, said.

According to the code, filters should not be applied to social media advertisements if they exaggerate the claim that the brand is making. The final guidelines will be introduced by 31 March and they will be applicable to all promotional posts published on or after 15 April 2021.

Approved disclosure labels by ASCI include #ad, #collab, #collab, #sponsored or #partnership. According to digital marketing agency AdLift, India’s influencer market is estimated at $75-$150 million a year as compared to the global market of $1.75 billion. The guidelines for influencers advertising on digital media will be available for all stakeholders, including industry, digital influencers as well as consumers for feedback till March 8, 2021.

 

Draft Guidelines for influencer advertising on digital media:

The disclosure label must be in English or translated into the language of the advertisement in a way that it is well understood by the average consumer who is viewing the advertisement.

Blanket disclosures in a profile or the bio section of the social media influencers will not be considered adequate.

In the case of audio, the disclosure label must be stated at the beginning and the end.

Any content where the brand has paid the influencer needs to be called out as ‘advertisement’.

If the advertisement is only a picture post such as Instagram stories or Snapchat, the label needs to be superimposed over the picture and it should be ensured that the average consumer is able to see it clearly.

If the advertisement is only a picture post such as Instagram stories or Snapchat, the label needs to be superimposed over the picture and it should be ensured that the average consumer is able to see it clearly.

Big brands, such as Vivo, Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Lenskart, HDFC India, Nike, Nykka and many others have collaborated with influencers, such as Bhuvan Bam, Prajakta Koli, Kusha Kapila and Shruti Anand to name a few.

 

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