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Centre releases guidelines for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers on social media platform

Newdelhi:6/3/23:The Department of Consumer Affairs, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, has released a set of guidelines called “Endorsements Know-hows!” for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers on social media platforms. The guidelines aims to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services and that they are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and any associated rules or guidelines.

The guidelines state that endorsements must be made in simple, clear language, and terms such as “advertisement,” “sponsored,” “collaboration” or “paid promotion” can be used. Individuals must not endorse any product or service that they have not personally used or experienced or in which due diligence has not been done by them.

The department has observed that there is confusion regarding which disclosure word to use for what kind of partnership. Therefore, for paid or barter brand endorsement, any of the following disclosures may be used: “advertisement,” “ad,” “sponsored,” “collaboration,” or “partnership.” However, the term must be indicated as hashtag or headline text.

The guidelines specify that individuals or groups who have access to an audience and the power to affect their audiences’ purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand, or experience, because of the influencer’s/celebrity’s authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience, must disclose.

The guidelines state that the disclosure must be placed in the endorsement message in a manner that is clear, prominent, and extremely hard to miss. Disclosures should not be mixed with a group of hashtags or links. For endorsements in a picture, disclosures should be superimposed over the image enough for viewers to notice. For endorsements in a video or a live stream, disclosures should be made in both audio and video format and displayed continuously and prominently during the entire stream.

The guidelines advise celebrities and influencers to always review and satisfy themselves that the advertiser is in a position to substantiate the claims made in the advertisement. It is also recommended that the product and service must have been actually used or experienced by the endorser.

In conclusion, the guidelines aim to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services, and that they are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and any associated rules or guidelines. It is essential for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers to adhere to these guidelines to maintain transparency and authenticity with their audience.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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