The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is set to release guidelines for social media influencers in India. What do the new ASCI influencers ads guideline for Facebook and Twitter say? When will it be released? How is it going to affect the social media marketing in India? This article answers all these questions. Influencer marketing is growing rapidly in India from past few years now. In fact, more and more people are now pursuing it as the main profession. From teenagers to old-timers, there are a number of influencers on social media platforms. And the way the number of micro and nano influencers is multiplying in India, it is hard to keep a track.

Influencers Ads Guideline

Digital marketing experts tell that influencers with less following (like micro and nano) have a better engagement rate. They can connect with and influence their audience better. The current generation is especially very vulnerable to it. They are easily affected by such influencers. Therefore, it is important to moderate the type of content social media influencers are advertising and marketing in India.

To make sure that to social media influencers in India become more responsible, ASCI is set to release some influencers ads guideline. Keep reading to find out what we know yet.

ASCI Influencers Ads Guideline for Facebook and Twitter?

The said guidelines aren’t out yet but will be soon. But a corresponding draft has been made public that gives an idea of what the guidelines are going to be like. This is what we know:

  • For promotional posts on Facebook, influencers should include disclosure label in the title. If the post only has an image or a video, it must include the given label.
  • For promotional posts of Twitter, the body of the message should contain a disclosure label or a tag. And similarly, there should be a disclosure tag is only the image or video is seen.
  • There is a list of approved hash-tags: #ad, #sponsored, #promo, #collab, #partnership, etc.
  • The similar guidelines are to be followed by influencers on Instagram, YoutTube, Pinterest, Vlog, and SnapChat.

As informed by Subhash Kamath, the chairman of Advertising Standards Council of India, this guidelines draft was formed after consultation with a number of social media influencers. It was also highlighted that the council collaborated with BigBang.Social for feedback.

The draft also reads that “It is recommended that the contractual agreement between advertiser and influencer carries clauses pertaining to disclosure, use of filters as well as due diligence.”

Moreover, according to the guidelines draft, umbrella disclosures in the influencer’s account description and bio will not suffice. Hence, each promotional post must contain the disclosure. Also the language used in the disclosure should either be English or should be same as the language used in the advertisement.

When will the guidelines come into effect?

There is no confirmation as to when the new guidelines for influencer advertising and marketing will come into effect. But the said guidelines are expected to be finalised by the end of the next month. This was reported by The Hindu BusinessLine.

What is the purpose behind these guidelines?

As stated by the chairman of ASCI, “With increasing consumption of digital advertising, the disclosure guidelines for influencers were necessary. Promotional content is often indistinguishable from regular posts and consumers have the right to easily recognise promotional content”

With influencer marketing, businesses seek to promote their content in a way that it doesn’t look promotional and looks natural instead. At a point, it can (and does) get misguided. Consumers have the right to know that what they are seeing is whether a natural content or promotional. Therefore, the ASCI feels that promotional posts should be distinguishable from the normal posts.

Since social media influencers have a strong impact on masses, they have a great social responsibility. Hence, when promoting a brand, they should be transparent about it. The consumer/audience should have the right to know that the content they are seeing is promotional since it can greatly impact their buying decision.

Kamath also added, “We believe these guidelines will not only help consumers to identify promotional content but also guide social media influencers to become more responsible when promoting brands.”

Final Word

The industry of influencer marketing is expanding rapidly. Many businesses hire social media influencers to promote their brand.  There is so much promotional content on social media that it becomes difficult to distinguish. This is the reason that ASCI is rolling out these new influencers ads guideline for influencer ads. Expectedly, these guidelines will help make influencers more responsible with their advertisement content. However, this is just the draft. The final guidelines will be compiled and released by the end of the March 2021.