India Introduces Endorsement Guidelines For Influencers As Its Social Media Market Gets Bigger

The South Asian market for social media influencers continues to grow to new heights. And it’s nations like India that are really taking the lead in this regard.

For this reason, the South East Asian nation has opted to publish endorsement guidelines for the growing number of social media influencers. It feels this is the right step forward in terms of preventing unfair trade from taking place. Similarly, it also prevents misleading promotions from arising on the internet.

The news came last Friday when the Indian Department for Consumer Affairs took part in a press conference to publicly announce more guidelines. This would forcefully make influencers sign up for the likes of disclosing all of their promotional activities as per the Consumer Protection Act unveiled in 2019.

When an influencer fails to follow the guidelines mentioned, it would force such influencers to be liable for fines that go up to $12,300. And if they choose to repeat the same mistake again by making a similar offense, the punishment in the form of a fine may reach a staggering value of $61,600. The news was just recently confirmed by the nation’s government department.

The department goes on to highlight how such rules apply to both influencers in the social media world and those virtual avatars. The latter is the name given to those marketing goods and services online.

Such disclosures are fairly easy to spot in things like post descriptions. For instance, the links and hashtags can easily give it away, another expert on the subject adds. But now, the department wants it to be noticeable in the likes of the content too.

Remember, promoted content seen in videos would also be strictly regulated. There should be proper headings talking about disclosures linked to paid promotions in both the descriptions as well as the video content too. This would be generated through audio and video, and it elaborated further. In the same way, influencers would be required to disclose when they’re promoting brands, products, or any services during an event like live streams. This clause is also a part of the guidelines.

All such disclosures need to be generated in the language that the content is published in for easier understanding and flow.

The secretary for the department says that such rules and regulations are a mandatory step to follow and are for all of those influencers that feel they can get away with things easily and have no obligation whatsoever to behave in a responsible manner.

Remember, a lot of the public has access to social media platforms and they do take such influencers’ word of mouth seriously. So to prevent unfair trade, these influencers need to understand that they’ve got a huge responsibility on their shoulders. It’s like an obligation that’s needed to be fulfilled.

The government official similarly adds how the department was currently busy holding talks with tech giants so that it could deploy crawling algorithms to highlight all those offenders.

Customers are even being given the power to file any complaints in cases they feel influencers violate the guidelines mentioned.

Today, recent statistics prove how India’s tech industry is booming and so is the country’s social media influencer industry. It currently stands at $157 million and could have the potential to reach an alarming $345 million in the next two years.

This is why it’s more necessary now than ever to keep a check and balance system on such influencers and not enable them to take customers for a ride for their own monetary gains.

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