An Insight Into ASCI Guidelines For Social Media Influencers – Social Media

An Insight Into ASCI Guidelines For Social Media Influencers – Social Media
An Insight Into ASCI Guidelines For Social Media Influencers – Social Media

To print this text, all you want is to be registered or login on

Today we live in a world the place digital media is the brand new
leisure norm. According to January 2019 We Are Social report,
3.484 billion individuals actively use social media – that is 45% of
the world’s inhabitants.1 This current progress in
consumption of digital media has renovated the advertising and marketing panorama
giving beginning to a brand new method of promoting i.e. utilizing influencers on
social media to construct & broaden the marketplace for merchandise.
Influencers are personalities within the digital media who’ve
established themselves as specialists in varied fields like
style, health and so forth. Masoom Minawala Mehta, Komal Pandey, Aashna
Shroff, Bhuvan Bam, Yashraj Mukhate, Ashish Chanchlani – are
a number of the nicely-recognized influencers in India immediately.

According to digital advertising and marketing company AdLift, India’s
influencer market is estimated at $75-$150 million a yr as
in comparison with the worldwide market of $1.75 billion. This is an business
that has change into mainstream throughout the promoting area and is simply
anticipated to develop as extra Indians go browsing.2

For manufacturers immediately, advertising and marketing via influencers has advanced as a
extra handy & chosen method of promoting their merchandise and
constructing a loyal buyer base. For shoppers, greater than every other
type of commercial, the choices are primarily based on the recommendation of the
influencers. The garments they put on, the merchandise they select for
themselves, the way in which they converse, all the things turns into a development.

With the rise in digital media consumption, the excellence
between promotions and real opinions is blurring. Hence, a powerful
& clear line to differentiate between content material ready by
influencers and promotional commercial posts is a necessity now extra
than ever.

In the wake of this, the Advertising Standards Council of India
(ASCI) on June 1, 2021, issued Guidelines for Influencer
Advertising in Digital Media (hereinafter known as
‘Influencer Guidelines’). The Influencer Guidelines
primarily concentrate on having a disclosure on the promotional content material
& significance of due diligence associated to the product that’s
being marketed. Subhash Kamath, ASCI Chairman, on this regard
stated that when individuals watch tv or learn newspapers, then
they’ll simply distinguish between this system or content material and the
commercial. They don’t face any type of confusion, however it’s
troublesome to distinguish in social media. Thus, by these
pointers, shoppers will be capable to determine the distinction
between paid promotional content material from influencer-generated
content material.


As per the Influencer Guidelines, an Influencer is an individual who
has entry to an viewers and the facility to have an effect on their
audiences’ buying choices or opinions a few product,
service, model or expertise, due to the influencer’s
authority, information, place, or relationship with their
viewers. It additional defines digital influencers, are fictional
pc-generated ‘individuals’ or avatars who’ve the
lifelike traits, options and personalities of people,
and behave equally as influencers.


Disclosure as per Guidelines

The Influencer Guidelines state that any social media influencer
or its representatives, if any, ought to open up to the shoppers
that the content material they’re selling is an commercial. Such
disclosure must be there on their account every time they promote
any product or create an commercial.

The onus of accountability is on:

The influencer or on their consultant for making required
disclosures on their publishing account.

The ‘advertiser’ to guarantee that influencers are
obliging with the ASCI Code and its pointers. The advertisers
shall additionally ask the influencer to delete or edit the disclosure to
adjust to the rules.

What is the intent?

The intent behind making such disclosures necessary is to make
the shoppers conscious that the content material they’re viewing, listening to, or
experiencing is an commercial, which can or might not be
researched by the Influencer posting it. Such disclosure ought to be
clear, apparent, and with none discrepancy and shouldn’t go away
any room for doubt amongst the shoppers.

How to make such a disclosure?

The pointers lay down {that a} “disclosure label” is
for use by the influencers every time they put up any commercial
on social media. Further, the disclosure ought to be
“upfront” and “outstanding” in order that a mean
particular person doesn’t miss it and is seen on the forefront.

For this, the rules additionally specify how the disclosure wants
to be made to make conscious the buyer about it with out doing any


Disclosures ought to be positioned the place they’re “exhausting to

They shouldn’t be made at these locations the place a person
must do some efforts like clicking or researching about

Some of the locations the place disclosures shouldn’t be made are the
ABOUT ME part of the profile or on the finish of the put up, or in
the bio of the influencers, or wherever within the put up wall and so forth.


For movies that final 15 seconds or lesser, the disclosure label
should keep for no less than 3 seconds.

For movies longer than 15 seconds, however lower than 2 minutes, the
disclosure label ought to keep for 1/third the size of the

For movies which might be 2 minutes or longer, the disclosure label
should keep for all the length of the part during which the
promoted model or its options, advantages, and so forth are talked about.


Disclosure shouldn’t be made in between a variety of hashtags however
ought to be clear and upfront.

The pointers additionally present for a “platform disclosure
instrument” that ought to be utilized by the influencers.

The disclosure ought to be simply comprehended by the customers.

Guidelines present for a listing of disclosures like- #advert,
#commercial, #sponsored, #collaboration, #partnership,
#worker, #free present.

The listing is just not exhaustive however will likely be up to date recurrently.

The main language of the disclosure ought to be English however
may be in different languages additionally which might be simply understood by the


The disclosure in case of photographs or movies ought to be
superimposed over the image/ video in order that the buyer can see
it immediately.

The pointers additionally present for the size and timing of the
movies and the disclosure to be made on them.


The disclosure in such instances ought to be introduced within the
starting and on the finish.

If the dwell stream is to be there within the type of a put up, then,
disclosure ought to be there within the caption too.


The disclosure ought to be there firstly and the top of
such audio media.

Also, if a break is taken, then it ought to be made earlier than and
after each break too.


Virtual influencers are additionally entrusted with the accountability
to open up to the customers that they don’t seem to be “interacting with a
actual human being”.

The disclosure must be clear, exact, upfront, and

How to find out whether or not a disclosure is required or not?

Criteria to look for-

Influencers are required to go for disclosure every time there’s
any “materials connection” between them and the
advertiser. This is to guarantee that the shoppers are usually not stored in
darkish close to promoting content material being created like movies,
photographs, reels, and so forth. A disclosure will reveal the substantial hyperlink
between a selected influencer and the product they’re endorsing,
thereby permitting the buyer to train their minds to purchase or not
to purchase a selected product beneficial by the influencer.

Disclosure can be required to be made when the influencer
regardless of any financial advantages, is given “something of
worth” just like the discounted product, or free product for trial,
and so forth. For occasion, if an influencer is given some cookies as a free
product for trial functions in order that he/ she might advertise higher,
then the influencer must disclose it additionally amongst the
clients. Such kind of disclosures is to be made mandatorily even
if the influencers are usually not requested to take action.

Influencers are required to reveal in these conditions additionally
whereby he/ she give their private views or feedback however the place
there’s a “materials connection” between them and the
advertiser. This occurs in these conditions the place influencers go
for his or her sincere opinions on some merchandise like several magnificence product,
or any edible and so forth. The disclosure turns into important right here additionally so
that the shoppers are conscious that there’s some connection between
the influencer and the model that they’re reviewing.

But, disclosure is just not required in these instances whereby the
influencers in the event that they like some well being drink advocate their
followers to purchase them or use them. In such instances, there isn’t any
materials connection between them and the advertiser, and they’re
recommending a selected product out of their free will. In such
instances, it won’t be thought-about as an commercial.

A ‘materials connection’ is outlined by the Influencer
Guidelines as any connection between an advertiser and influencer
that will have an effect on the load or credibility of the illustration
made by the influencer. A fabric connection might embody however is
not restricted to advantages and incentives, similar to financial or different
compensation, free merchandise with or with none circumstances connected
together with these acquired unsolicited, reductions, presents, contest and
sweepstakes entries, journeys or lodge stays, media barters, protection,
awards or any household or employment relationship, and so forth.


The pointers additionally present for influencers to train due
diligence whereas selling any product. The influencers should
analysis the product that they’re selling or endorsing in order that
they’ll substantiate the claims that they might be making of their
content material. It is a compulsory step to keep away from any future legal responsibility and
additionally due to the affect that they’ve on the shoppers
following them.

The significance of due diligence by the influencer was appropriately
highlighted by the Bombay High Court within the case of Marico Limited
v. Abhijeet Bhansali.7 The Court famous that ‘Social
media influencers are people who’ve acquired a substantial
follower base on social media together with a level of credibility in
their respective area. Depending on the recognition of their subject
of experience, their following can vary from hundreds to even
thousands and thousands of individuals. These influencers typically make use of the goodwill
they get pleasure from amongst their followers/viewers to advertise a model,
help a trigger or persuade them to do or omit to do an act. Social
media influencers are conscious of the affect they wield over different
audiences and that their statements have a magnified and profound
affect on their viewers. It wouldn’t go far to say that their
followers place a sure belief within the social media influencers and
settle for their statements as information with out a lot scrutiny. It is
obvious, {that a} social media influencer, wields the facility to
affect the general public thoughts. With energy additionally comes accountability. I
don’t imagine {that a} social media influencer can ship
statements with the identical impunity accessible to an unusual particular person.
Such an individual bears a better burden to make sure there’s a diploma of
truthfulness in his statements. A social media influencer is just not
solely conscious of the affect of his assertion but additionally makes a
purposeful try to unfold his opinion to society / the


Ambika Sharma, Founder and Managing Director, Pulp Strategy, in
an announcement to a newspaper every day, stated that ‘The pointers
imply that there’s a recognition for all the business. Bringing
the business below these pointers by way of transparency and
accountability will deliver in additional credibility in what an influencer
says.’8 The Influencer Guideline has additionally garnered
help from Influencers. Dolly Singh, a digital influencer, informed a
newspaper every day “the digital advertising and marketing area is rising
quickly and so are its members. This is the precise time to have
a codified system of disclosure. I totally help this transfer by ASCI
as a result of it would end in viewers having even larger belief in
influencers like me,”.9 Shetal Shah, co-founding father of
TheBagTales in an interview stated that ‘the most recent ASCI
pointers for influencer advertising and marketing are a welcome transfer and can
profit manufacturers. With the influencer advertising and marketing business booming and
the viewers believing in them, transparency should be maintained.
The key concept behind roping or partnering with influencers is to
construct belief inside their community, which in flip will assist manufacturers
attain out to a bigger viewers and construct their buyer

The want for disclosures below the Influencer Guidelines will
forestall the customers from falling into the entice and can assist them in
demarcating between impartial consumer-generated content material and
promotional content material. Also, with solely the permitted labels, the
influencers will likely be obliged to not use every other disclosure label
in order that they can’t later declare that they took essential
precautions and adopted all pointers. Now, because the influencers
must go for these disclosures which might be acceptable for the
social media platforms, they can even observe the rules of the
social media channel or platform. These influencers are additionally
entrusted with the accountability of not utilizing filters to make
their pores and skin spotless or tooth whiter whereas endorsing any magnificence
merchandise. Further, as a matter of prudence, now each the social
media influencers and the advertisers will likely be extra aware whereas
getting into right into a contract as each of them have a legal responsibility of
making certain that the rules are usually not violated.

However, this can be a step in the precise course, there’s extra
that may be carried out by way of regulation.


The pointers solely concentrate on stopping deceptive
commercials however don’t lay down any specification for
mental property rights. There ought to be some provisions for
IP rights concerned in these commercials. With the rise in
unauthorized use of brand name names, there’s a must additionally shield
the goodwill and the pursuits of manufacturers and people concerned
in social media advertising and marketing.

The pointers additionally lack by way of deciding legal responsibility in instances
the followers’ well being is affected by any of the merchandise that
they use by the advice of the influencer. So, it’s
crucial that both the rules specify this or there’s some
modification within the pointers.

Additionally, it ought to be talked about that ASCI is just not a
authorities-regulated physique however solely a self-regulatory one. Owing to
which its choices are usually not binding. However, additionally it is pertinent
to say right here that the Courts have repeatedly upheld the
choices of the ASCI.


The disclosure talked about within the put up ought to be worded in a
method that any layman can perceive. Don’t simply depend on
blanket disclosure as particular person items of content material could also be considered in

Team up with manufacturers you genuinely imagine in.

Always be sure that the association between the Advertisers
& Influencer is outlined by a nicely-drafted settlement clearly
stating the rights and liabilities of each events.

Always be real in promoting or selling a product. Do not
mislead the shoppers.

Ensure that the knowledge shared with the shoppers and in
the put up is true to the perfect of your information.

Before endorsing a product that impacts public well being and
wellness, it’s advisable to pay explicit consideration to what
product claims are being made and are the claims are backed by
correct and genuine items of proof.12

Ensure that the commercial posted doesn’t violate any
provisions of the relevant authorized rules.13

Along with ASCI pointers, don’t forget to all the time examine the
guidelines pointers of the particular social media portal on which the
commercial is being posted.


Though these have been part of the Guidelines for “Influencer
promoting on digital media”- draft for stakeholder
session,14 it’s pertinent to learn about these as
nicely as they are often helpful in understanding & putting
disclosures on these particular platforms:

Instagram: Disclosure label to be included in
the title above the picture/starting of the textual content that reveals. If solely
the picture is seen, the picture itself should embody the label

Facebook: Include the disclosure label within the
title of the entry or put up. If solely the picture/video is seen, the
picture/video itself should embody the label eg FB story

Twitter: Include the disclosure label or tag
firstly of the physique of the message as a tag

Pinterest: Include the disclosure label on the
starting of the message.

YouTube and different video platforms: Include the
label within the title/description of the put up.

Vlog: Overlay the disclosure label whereas
speaking in regards to the services or products

Snapchat: Include the disclosure label within the
physique of the message to start with as a tag.

Blog: Include the disclosure label within the
title of the put up.



2. material/uploads/2021/02/press-launch-asci-frames-pointers-for-influencer-promoting-on-digital-media.pdf


4. material-new-pointers-out-1808592-2021-05-30



7. COMIP NO. 596 OF 2019, Bombay High
Court, Judgement dated twenty third August 2019

8. and marketing-to-have-a-optimistic-affect/2261178/

9. and marketing-to-have-a-optimistic-affect/2261178/


11. and marketing-in-australia-how-to-keep away from-authorized-points/




Originally revealed 16 July 2021

The content material of this text is meant to supply a common
information to the subject material. Specialist recommendation ought to be sought
about your particular circumstances.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Amanda