The notice was served to the CEO of a marketing agency and some social media influencers allegedly involved in a paid campaign to tweet negatively about the company. On June 7th, Softbank-backed unicorn Meesho served a legal notice to the CEO of a marketing agency and some social media influencers allegedly involved in a coordinated smear campaign against the company. The alleged campaign sheds light on weak advertising guidelines for Influencer Marketing in India’s growing creator economy. What Spurred the Legal Notice? In its cease-and-desist notice, Meesho described Twitter user Ravisutanjani Kumar’s tweets posted on June 2nd, 2022, which first ‘exposed’ the alleged smear campaign. Analysing four tweets by four unique Twitter users, Mr. Kumar noted that each tweet critiqued Meesho’s business strategies on similar lines while also tagging the company’s investors. These comments were all accompanied by a link to the same Economic Times article, co-reported by Pranav Balakrishnan and Digbijay Singh, detailing Meesho’s cost-cutting strategies amidst a slowdown in funding and larger macroeconomic growth. Mr. Kumar commented that this was an example of a smear campaign against Meesho by paying influential social media users to speak negatively of the company. Soon after his post went live, Twitter users Udita Pal (Co-founder, SaltPe) and Aashima Arora (Investment Lead, Polygon) added to Mr. Kumar’s discussion, sharing requests they’d received to share similarly negative content for a price. Both Ms. Pal and Ms. Arora turned down the offers. Meesho has not disclosed the specific law allegedly violated. However, its notice instructed the CEO…
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