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Endorsements to become tricky for influencers, celebrities: A closer look at draft guidelines for advertisements

social media influencer endorsement

The central government's new draft guidelines on advertising and endorsement disclosures could mean a world of change for celebrities who endorse products, including social media "influencers" — people who use their clout on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to get paid for endorsing products. The draft guidelines cover all forms, formats and medium of advertising and marketing communications — print, TV and social media. All advertisers and endorsers would have to be more careful about what they associate themselves with. The guidelines propose to make them responsible for verifying all of the manufacturer's claims regarding a certain product or service. Earlier this week, the Ministry had issued a draft of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Necessary Due Diligence for Endorsement of Advertisements) Guidelines, 2020. People can submit their comments and suggestions on the guidelines until September 18, 2020. Comments can be mailed to dscpu-ca@nic.in. Background: The guidelines have been drafted under a law passed last year — The Consumer Protection Act, 2019  — which allowed for the creation of a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA). The CCPA was given wide powers, including the ability to penalise and prosecute against "misleading advertisements". For the first time ever in the country, the Act brought into ambit all endorsers, who could be made accountable for misleading advertisements. Earlier, such a provision existed only with regard to the endorsement of food products (more on this later). The CCPA was finally established in July this year. It is headquartered in…

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