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Are you a social media influencer? Follow these rules set by Centre or pay whopping Rs 50 lakh fine

Are you a social media influencer? Follow these rules set by Centre or pay whopping Rs 50 lakh fine

If you are an influencer on social media or other platforms, the Centre has set some important rules for you to follow.

Social media influencers are currently on the rise in India due to the increased social media usage and activity on digital platforms. Social media influencers in India can earn a large amount of money based on their following, but now, the Centre has issued a fresh set of rules for them.

The central government on Friday announced that it is now mandatory for all social media influencers to “disclose” all "material" interests such as gifts, hotel accommodation, equity, discounts and awards when endorsing any products, services or scheme, failing which strict legal action, including a ban on endorsements, can be taken.

The disclosure of such gifts and materials by the social media influencers should be in simple words and for a duration which is hard to miss, as per the Centre. This disclaimer should also run with endorsements and live sessions, no matter what platform is being used.

Centre has implemented these new rules for social media influencers in an effort to curb misleading advertisements and protect the interest of consumers as the market for social media influencers remains growing in India.

The new guidelines named 'Endorsement Know Hows - for celebrities, influencers and virtual media influencers (Avatar or computer generated character) on social media platforms' has been issued by the Department of Consumers Affairs.

In case of violation, the penalty prescribed for misleading advertisements under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 will be applicable. The Centre has also announced the whopping amount of fee which can be imposed on social media influencers if they fail to comply.

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, as per PTI reports.

Not only the hefty fine, but the CCPA can also prevent the social media influencer from making any endorsement for up to 1 year and for subsequent contravention, prohibition can extend up to 3 years.

Sources: (DNA) via (With PTI inputs)

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