The Advertising Standards Council of India, a voluntary self-regulatory organization of the advertising industry in India, released the guidelines for influencer advertising in India on 14th June 2021. After extensive feedback from all stakeholders – advertisers, agencies, influencers, and consumers, the guidelines were framed which are applicable to commercial messages or advertisements published on or after June 14, 2021.
The guidelines make it mandatory for influencers to label the promotional content they post and ensure that it is identified as paid promotion. Post releasing the guidelines, ASCI screened around 5,000 posts until December 2021, over a period of six months, and processed 729 complaints which were considered to be prima facie violations of the guidelines. From the total complaints, ASCI achieved a total compliance of 86%, where influencers modified the posts that were complained against.
In a recent development, ASCI shared that the paid partnership tag that influencers carry in their advertorial posts on Instagram meets the principles of the ASCI guidelines for influencer advertising on digital media. ASCI therefore will consider the Instagram “Paid Partnership” tag as an acceptable alternative to its disclosure labels. This decision will reduce the burden on brands and influencers and will encourage greater compliance from all parties.