Understand the rules around sponsored content and endorsements in India. Learn the do’s and don’ts of sponsored content and endorsements to protect your brand and reputation. Stay compliant and avoid legal action. Don’t get caught in the pitfall of non-compliance.
In India, the rules around sponsored content and endorsements are set out by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the CCPA’s Influencer Marketing Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. These guidelines are in place to ensure that sponsored content is clearly labeled and that endorsements are not misleading or deceptive to consumers.
What are the Rules around Sponsored Content and Endorsements?
The key requirements for sponsored content in India include:
Clear and conspicuous disclosure: Any sponsored content must be clearly identified as such, typically using labels such as “Advertisement” “Ads” or “Sponsored”. The disclosure should be made at the beginning of the content and should be visible and legible to consumers.
Honesty and Transparency: The content should be honest and transparent and should not mislead or deceive the consumers. The influencer should disclose the nature and extent of their relationship with the brand or product.
Declaration of Interest: The influencer should declare any interest, direct or indirect, in the brand or product being endorsed.
No Misleading Claims: The influencer should not make any false or misleading claims about the product or service.
Compliance with Legal Regulations: The influencer should also ensure that the sponsored content complies with all relevant legal regulations, such as those related to advertising, consumer protection, data protection, etc.
Understand the rules and regulations: Before working with any brand, influencers should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations set out by the ASCI and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and ensure that they understand the requirements for sponsored content.
Pitfalls of not following the Rules and Guidelines
Pitfalls of not following the guidelines can be severe, such as the brand or influencer can be held liable under the Indian Contract Act or Consumer Protection Act, and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs can take action against the influencer or the brand. One of the main pitfall of not complying with these rules, is the potential for legal action by consumers or regulatory authorities, as well as reputational damage.
In order to avoid these pitfalls, influencers should take the following precautions:
- Clearly and prominently disclose any sponsored content or endorsements in their posts,
- Disclose any material connections they have with the brand or product being endorsed
- Avoid making false or misleading claims about the products or services being endorsed
- Fact check the information being shared about the product or service and ensure it is accurate
- Research the brand or product being endorsed to ensure it is reputable and trustworthy
- Understand their legal rights and obligations related to influencer marketing and advertising in India and stay up-to-date with any changes or updates to the rules and regulations
- Consult with a legal professional for guidance.
It is also important for the influencer to maintain records of the disclosures made for the sponsored
Sponsored content and endorsements are an effective way for brands and influencers to promote products or services, but it is important to follow the guidelines and regulations set by the CCPA and ASCI. This includes being truthful and not misleading, clearly disclosing any sponsored content or endorsements, and disclosing any material connections with the products or services being endorsed.
By following these guidelines, brands and influencers can ensure that their sponsored content and endorsements are ethical and transparent, while also protecting consumers from misinformation.
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