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Govt directions for social media influencers
1/20/2023 10:08:17 PM

agencies
NEW DELHI, Jan 20: The government on Friday made it mandatory for social media influencers to disclose all "material" interest such as gifts, hotel accommodation, equity, discounts and awards when endorsing any products, services or scheme, failing which strict legal action, including ban on endorsements can be taken.
The disclosures should be in simple and clear language, should be of duration that is hard to miss, must be run with endorsements, including live streams and should be platform agnostic. The regulations are part of continuing efforts to curb misleading advertisements as well protect the interests of consumers amid the expanding social influencer market which is projected to be grow 20 per cent annually to reach Rs 2,800 crore by 2025. The new guidelines named 'Endorsement Know Hows -- for celebrities, influencers and virtual media influencers (Avatar or computer generated character) on social media platforms' has been issued by the Department of Consumers Affairs.
In case of violation, the penalty prescribed for misleading advertisement under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 will be applicable.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can impose penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on manufacturers, advertisers and endorsers. For subsequent offences, penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh can be imposed. The CCPA can prohibit endorser of a misleading ad from making any endorsement for up to 1 year and for subsequent contravention, prohibition can extend up to 3 years.
Launching these guidelines at a press conference, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said the guidelines have been issued under the ambit of the CCPA that provides framework for the protection of consumers against unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.
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