The Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India has released guidelines on ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’ for celebrities and influencers on social media platforms.

These guidelines aims to ensure that Celebrities do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services and that they are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and associated rules & guidelines. With the increasing reach of digital platforms and social media there has been a rise in the influence of virtual influencers, which has led to an increased risk of consumers being misled by advertisements and unfair trade practices by the Celebrities on social media platforms.

 

Who should disclose?

  • Celebrities
  • Influencers
  • Virtual Influencers

 

When to disclose?

  • Hard To Miss: Disclosures should be placed in the endorsement message in such a manner that they are clear, prominent and extremely hard to miss.
  • Endorsement In a Picture: Disclosures should be superimposed over the image enough for viewers to notice.
  • Endorsement In a Video: Disclosures should be placed in the video and not just in the description and it should be made in both audio and video format.
  • Endorsement In a Live Stream: Disclosures should be displayed continuously and prominently during the entire stream.

 

How to disclose?

  • Simple & Clear: Simple and clear language should be used, on limited space platforms like Twitter, terms such as ‘XYZ Ambassador’ (where XYZ is a brand) are also acceptable.
  • Terms Allowed: ‘advertisement’ or ‘ad’ ‘sponsored’ ‘paid promotion’ or ‘paid’
  • Language: Disclosures and endorsements should be in the same language.
  • Platform Tool: Separate disclosures shall be made apart from platform disclosure tools.

 

Due Diligence by Celebrities:

  • Celebrities / influencers are advised always to review and satisfy themselves that the advertiser is in a position to substantiate the claims made in the advertisement
  • Celebrities / influencers 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.

 

Past instances of harmful endorsements:

                                                   

Kim Kardashian  promoted diet pills                                                    Akshay Kumar promoted Pan Masala.

 

Violation of the guidelines by Celebrities:

Violations of the guidelines will attract penalties and such errant influencers can also be prohibited from making any endorsements up to three years.

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