The Centre has issued new regulations to stop unfair business practices and deceptive online advertising, and this has put social media influencers on their toes. The move comes as the market for social media influencers in India continues to grow.
Consumer Protection Act of 2019 strengthened
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 now requires social media influencers to disclose any promotional content, according to a press conference held by the Department of Consumer Affairs on Friday.
The guidelines, which also apply to virtual avatars promoting products and services online, require disclosures to be easy to notice in post descriptions, and to be prominent enough to be noticeable in the content. Paid promotion disclosures for videos must be made in both audio and video format, and they must be placed in both the video and the description. If influencers use livestreams to advertise a company, service, or good, they must make that information clear. The disclosures and recommendations must be made in the same language as the content.
The government has warned that failing to follow the guidelines will result in a fine of up to $12,300 (1 million Indian rupees). Repeat offenders will face a penalty of up to $61,600 (5 million Indian rupees). Consumers can file complaints if they discover an influencer breaking the rules. The department is also in talks with tech companies to deploy some crawling algorithms to identify offenders. The market for social media influencers in India was valued at $157 million in 2022, and by 2025, it is anticipated to grow to $345 million.
Q.What are the new guidelines introduced by the government for social media influencers?
A. According to the 2019 Consumer Protection Act, the new rules make it necessary for social media influencers to disclose promotional content.
Q.What is the penalty for not following the guidelines?
A fine of up to USD 12,300 (1 million Indian rupees) is imposed as punishment for disregarding the rules. For repeat offenders, the maximum fine is USD 61,600 (five million Indian rupees).
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