The new guidelines for social media influencers are to ban misleading ads.
By 2025, the social media ‘influencer’ market is estimated to be around Rs 2,800 crore.
In case of repeated violations, the penalty can be increased up to 50 lakh rupees.
New Delhi. The government has issued new guidelines for social media influencers. Accordingly, it will be mandatory for all influencers to disclose their ‘affiliation’ and interests while promoting a product or service. If an influencer does not do this, strict legal action will be taken to ban that ad. According to the government, these guidelines are part of ongoing efforts to prevent misleading advertisements as well as protect the interests of the general public.
In fact, people who influence people by putting their opinion about a product or service on social media platforms are called ‘influencers’. By 2025, the social media ‘influencer’ market is estimated to be around Rs 2,800 crore. These guidelines are considered very important in this regard as well.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has issued new guidelines on celebrities, ‘influencers’ and ‘online’ media ‘influencers’ on social media platforms. In case of their violation, the prescribed penalty for misleading advertisement will be imposed under the Consumer Protection Act 2019.
Fine up to 50 lakhs
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can impose fines of up to Rs 10 lakh on product manufacturers, advertisers and influencers in cases of misleading advertising. On the other hand, in case of repeated violations of these rules, the fine can be increased to Rs 50 lakh. In addition, the authority may debar any person promoting misleading advertisements from advertising for a period of one year, which may be extended up to three years.
Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told the press conference that the new guidelines have been issued within the purview of the Consumer Act, which provides a framework to protect consumers against unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements. He hoped that these guidelines would act as a deterrent to social media influencers. He said, ‘This is a very important issue. In 2022, the social media influencer market in India will be worth Rs 1,275 crore. But by 2025, it is likely to reach Rs 2,800 crore with an annual growth rate of around 19-20 percent.
The number of social media influencers in the country has crossed one lakh and is expected to increase as the internet expands. The consumer affairs secretary said, ‘Social media ‘influencers’ need to behave responsibly in such a situation. Now they have to provide information related to the product or service they are advertising on social media.
On this occasion, CCPA Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare said that misleading advertisement in any form, format or medium is prohibited by law. Keeping this in mind, guidelines have been issued regarding the disclosure requirements and procedures for social media ‘influencers’.
First Published: January 24, 2023, 16:51 IST