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Draft guidelines soon for social media influencers, must disclose brand links – The Indian Express

The Centre has prepared draft guidelines for social media influencers which make it mandatory for them to disclose their association with the product they endorse, it is learnt. According to official sources, the Department of Consumer Affairs has prepared a draft of the guidelines which may be released “soon”. “The proposed guidelines may come out in two weeks,” said sources.
Under the new guidelines, a person endorsing a company’s product on social media will have to disclose whether he/ she has been paid by the company.
It is learnt that under the provisions of the proposed guidelines, if a social media influencer endorses a brand after accepting money, he/ she will have to disclose his/ her association with that brand. Besides, the influencers will need to put disclaimers in such endorsement posts, said sources.
According to sources, many influencers who have a large following on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been found to be endorsing products after taking payments from companies.
It is the responsibility of the Department of Consumer Affairs to curb such practices and protect the interests of consumers, said sources, adding that the department is also in the process of developing a framework to curb fake reviews on e-commerce sites.
On May 27, taking cognizance of fake reviews on e-commerce platforms, the Department of Consumer Affairs had held a meeting with e-commerce entities and stakeholders to discuss the “magnitude of fake reviews and prepare the roadmap ahead”.
The meeting, held in association with the Advertising Standards Council of India, took place days after Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh wrote to stakeholders including e-commerce entities, consumer forums, law universities, lawyers, FICCI and CII.
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Harikishan SharmaHarikishan is a Senior Assistant Editor, and he writes on agriculture,… read more

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