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India’s Consumer Affairs Department Proposes A Self-regulatory Body for Influencer Marketing Companies

The suggestion was made during a round table discussion with influencers on the recently released ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’ guidelines

What's the news: The Department of Consumer Affairs suggested the formation of a self-regulatory organization for influencer marketing companies and a creator or influencer recognition program on April 19th, 2023, said a government press release. Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, made this suggestion during a round table discussion with influencers, content creators and their agencies on the recently released ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’ guidelines in Mumbai. The government asked attendees to provide feedback on the guidelines and their implementation. Why this matters: Influencers and content creators on social media have become influential elements for digital advertising. So much so, that even the government talked about the industry’s influence on India’s GDP during the discussion. Further, Manisha Kapoor, CEO of the Advertising Standards Council of India, told MediaNama in an earlier interview that influencers welcome guidelines that will direct them on how to interact with brands and better inform their followers. At the same time, the guidelines as they are now can put more burden on specific people like ‘health influencers.’ In this respect, discussions like these can help bring industry concerns before the government. Platforms should take responsibility for advertising: During the discussion, Kapoor, who was present at the event, said that digital platforms should take responsibility for advertising and the structuring of influencers. She also proposed “the development of a model draft agreement between influencers and brands and urged platforms to incorporate guidelines for misleading ads in their community guidelines,” as per the press release. Meanwhile, industry folks…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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