In today’s social media-driven world, influencers and celebrities play a significant role in promoting products and services to their followers. With 63% of consumers making purchases based on influencers’ recommendations, it’s no wonder that businesses invest in influencer marketing. However, the question arises – can we trust what they are promoting? Are they doing it just for the sake of getting paid?
Recently, the Department of Consumers Affairs, India, has issued guidelines titled “Endorsements Know-hows” that can change the way endorsements by influencers are done. According to these guidelines, before promoting any product or service, influencers/celebrities must first try and approve of it. They should also mention clearly within the content itself that it is a sponsored post by using terms like advertisement, ad, sponsored, collaboration, or partnership. Disclosures must be placed in the endorsement message in a manner that is clear, prominent, and hard to miss. Mixing disclosures with a group of hashtags or links is not allowed. For endorsements in a picture, disclosures should be superimposed over the image enough for viewers to notice. For endorsements in a video or live stream, disclosures should be made in both audio and video formats and displayed continuously and prominently.
The consequences of not following these rules are severe. Influencers can be fined up to Rs.50 Lakhs for misleading advertising. The main purpose of these guidelines is to protect consumers who make purchase decisions based on the influencers they follow.
In conclusion, the new guidelines by the Department of Consumers Affairs, India, aim to bring transparency and accountability to influencer marketing. As consumers, it is crucial to be aware of sponsored content and take it with a grain of salt. The new rules may change the game for influencer endorsements, making it easier for consumers to trust the products and services they see on social media.