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Influencers welcome new advertising guidelines

The ASCI has released a set of draft guidelines for social media influencers for advertisement content on digital media platforms.  

Published: 25th February 2021 08:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2021 08:55 AM   |  A+A-

Influencer, social media

For representational purposes

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Have you bought those chandelier earrings, gone to that fancy dine-in restaurant, purchased the shimmery face compact, or even booked a spa vacay after seeing the glowing recommendations on your social media feed. Have you also been disappointed that the real experience isn’t anything close to the one seen on your mobile device?

Well, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory body, has now released a set of draft guidelines for social media influencers for advertisement content on digital media platforms. The proposed guidelines by ASCI are expected to be finalised by March 31, following a round of consultation with digital influencers, industry stakeholders, as well as consumers. 

As per the ASCI draft: “As digital media becomes increasingly pervasive and more consumers start to consume advertising on various digital platforms, it has become important to understand the peculiarities of these advertisements and the way consumers view them.” One of the ten guidelines says, “The influencer must do their due diligence about any technical or performance claims made by them such as 2X better, the effect lasts for one month, fastest speed, best in class etc.” We speak to Hyderabadi social media influencers and an entrepreneur who uses their services and have welcomed this move. 

PRIYANKA WYCLIFFE

Aria Krishnamurti, influencer
Influencers are leading opinion and influencing purchase decisions, across categories. A lot of time, the content is promoted as a part of the larger story and seeded in subtly, making the whole placement look rather organic. However, our audience has the right to know what is paid and what is organic. It’s quite basic. I’ve noticed several influencers labelling sponsored content and I think industry bodies making it a mandate only benefits the consumers.

It’s only fair to the consumers and audience we are reaching out to. I feel that while these guidelines are necessary, they should not be extremely stagnant as to avoid creating a dent in the overall influencer marketing industry that is growing at a faster pace than ever, especially now since the digital world is becoming the new normal, and everything seems to be online and researched. When we as creators are authentic, including being straightforward about sponsored content, we make more impact and deliver deeper engagement, towards our audience and a certain trust that stays with them.

Mohd Zubair Ali, food blogger
ACSI coming into the influencer marketing scene proves how big the community has grown over the past few years. Monitoring paid promotions and collaborations is a good way of streamlining the whole process. It becomes easy for audiences and consumers to relate to the advertising posts of their influencers.

The disclosing of whether or not it’s a paid post/story will help the followers to identify if they are watching an advertisement or genuine content. These rules are not just limited to influencers, but also apply to a marketing agency, media houses, and PR companies. Though the new regulations will be beneficial to the whole influencer marketing community, implementation will be a bigger task as influencer marketing is estimated to be Rs 500 crore to Rs 1,000 crore and it is growing at a rapid pace.

Priyanka Wycliffe, influencer
My first reaction was, why was this not done earlier? Anyway, better late than never. This will be a huge turning point for influencers as well as brands, as it is going to directly impact the audiences’ retention on a post. Earlier, there was no transparency about sponsorships, for multiple reasons. 

Things have been changing in the last year or so with some creators being transparent about their endorsements. Audiences in India look at paid posts as ‘not genuine’. It’s almost like they’re annoyed that someone is getting paid for a post. I think it’s a content creator’s responsibility to maintain a balance between organic and paid content. That said, with the new guidelines in place, creators with deeper connections and engagement with their audiences would perhaps gain preference over others.

Shetal Shah, co-founder, TheBagTales
The latest ASCI guidelines for influencer marketing are a welcome move and will benefit brands. 
With the influencer marketing industry booming and the audience believing in them, it is important that transparency is maintained. The key idea behind roping or partnering with influencers is to build trust within their network, which in turn will help brands reach out to a larger audience and build their customer base. 

There are a vast number of people who follow and look up to these influencers, so if they are endorsing a product then they should clearly mention whether it’s a paid review and organic, as people rely on their views to buy the product. This step will also help brands grow and partner with relevant influencers as there are many influencers, content creators who have bought followers, so when there are no authentic followers, it does not help the brand too. 

Set of approved labels  #ad #collab #promo #sponsored #partnership

The ASCI has released a set of draft guidelines for social media influencers for advertisement content on digital media platforms. We speak to Hyderabadi social media influencers who have welcomed this move

— Tamanna S Mehdi  tamanna @newindianexpress.com  @tamannamehdi



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