New rule: Social media influences must give labels on promotional content
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has issued a guideline for influencers advertising through digital media platforms such as Instagram. According to the new guidelines, all promotional content published by social media influencers or their representatives must have a disclosure label that clearly states that the content is an advertisement.
Also, according to the new rule, influencers will also have to perform due diligence for the products or services promoted through their account. ASCI says that it is important that customers understand that something is being promoted with the intention of influencing their opinion or behavior for business benefits.
According to the Mint report, the new rules will come into effect from June 14. After this, it will be mandatory for influencers to properly label content. So that the customer can understand whether your content is an advertisement or not.
According to ASCI, the label issued on the content should be well visible to all customers and there should be no scope for misunderstanding. In addition to these orders, ASCI has asked influencers to review and verify themselves before showing an advertisement for a product to the audience. Draft guidelines were first released in February.
ASCI has stated in the details of the new rule that influencers must add disclosure in their post only when there is a material connection with the advertiser. This connection includes compensation of money, free gift, or any other agreement that has been discussed between the two. If there is no material connection and influencers are informing the audience about a service or product of their choice, then it will not be considered an advertisement and no disclosure will be required on such posts.
Labels added by influencers should be well visible. If a video or advertisement is posted on Instagram Stories or Snapchat, the disclosure label must contain superimposing content. Disclosure labels such as advertisements, ads, sponsored, collaboration, partnership, employee, and free gift can be used for these.
According to the new rules, for videos of 15 seconds or less, the disclosure label must be at least 3 seconds. At the same time, in two minutes or longer videos, the label must be in that part of the video the whole time, when a service or brand is being promoted. Similarly, in videos longer than 15 seconds but less than 2 minutes, the label should be up to one-third of the length of the video.
Similarly, in audio media, such as podcasts, it is necessary to announce the beginning and end of the disclosure audio. Also before and after every break. At the same time, in the case of the live stream, it is necessary to declare the label at the beginning and end of the broadcast and if the post is visible even after the end of the live stream, then it must also be given in the label text/caption.