Govt Issues Guidelines For Social Media Influencers; Check Fines For Flouting Rules
New Delhi: The Union Consumer Affairs Ministry on Friday issued endorsement guidelines for social media influencers.
Laying down the rules as per Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the government has made it mandatory for social media influencers to disclose their “material” interest in endorsing products and services, reported PTI.
Flouting rules will lead to legal action as well as financial penalties.
The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can impose a penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on manufacturers, advertisers and endorsers. For subsequent offences, a penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh can be imposed.
For repeated non-compliance of guidelines, the influencer may be barred from endorsing products for up to 6 years.
Launching the guidelines at a press conference, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said the regulations are part of continuing efforts to curb misleading advertisements and also protect consumers’ interests amid the expanding social influencer market, which will be worth around Rs 2,800 crore by 2025.
The guidelines state that the product and service must have been actually used or experienced by the endorser, and consumers can seek legal actions against those defaulting, the ministry said.