The Advertising Standards Board of India (ASCI), the country’s self-regulating voluntary advertising organization, has issued a set of draft guidelines stating that all influential people on social media should put content that promotes products and digital platform services. The guidelines come at a time when leading brands are gradually relying more on influential people on social media platforms to advertise their products. The proposals, if finalized, will provide a strict code of rules that every influencer must follow, properly disclosing the nature of their promotional posts to viewers and followers.
The proposed, the proposed, the proposed draft guidelines ASCI is expected to be finalized by March 31 this year, following a round of consultations with digital influencers, industry stakeholders and consumers.
In its guidelines, ASCI indicates that all influential persons must disclose and label each promotional publication, within the first two lines, regardless of the platform. “Ads need to be clearly different from the regular user from editorial and independent of user content to prevent audience confusion between the two. The disclosure label should therefore be added to the list of approved labels, “the authority wrote in its proposal.
ASCI has also issued a set of approved labels that must be added to each promotional publication. These include #ad, #collab, #promo, #sponsored and / or #partnership. “Only authorized disclosure labels will be considered adequate, as users may not be aware of the various creative ways in which advertisers and influencers would wish to convey that said message is an advertisement.”
The body also explained why the disclaimer should be placed in the first two lines of each post. The disclosure label used to highlight ad content must be in advance (within the first two lines of any platform) so that the user does not have to click “See more” or scroll under the fold ), visible (so people don’t miss it), suitable for the channel (what you can see and when) and suitable for all potential devices (it should be visible regardless of the device or platform used as a website or application, etc. .). For a better understanding of the viewer, the label should be in English or translated into the “language of the advertisement”.
In case the promotional post is just a photo (like Instagram Stories or Snapchat), then the label must be superimposed on the image in a conspicuous place. If the promotional post is in the form of a video without accompanying text, the label must be applied to the video itself. “For videos that last 15 seconds or less, the disclosure label must remain for at least two seconds. For videos longer than 15 seconds but less than two minutes, the reveal tag remains 1/3 of the length of the video. For videos that are two minutes or more in length, the disclosure tag must remain throughout the section that mentions the brand or its features, benefits, etc. “
In the case of live streams, the disclosure label must be placed for five seconds at the end of each minute. For audio publications, the label must be announced at the beginning and end.
ASCI strongly urges influential people not to add filters to improve the effect of the advertised products. “Filters should not be applied to social media ads if they exaggerate the effect of the brand’s statement – e.g. Makes hair shinier, teeth whiter, etc.
The Authority also requires influencers to carry out due diligence on performance claims made by the product, such as being best in class, twice as good, durable, etc. “Evidence of due diligence will include correspondence with the advertiser or trademark owner confirming that the claim made in the advertisement may be scientifically substantiated. “
Finally, ASCI recommends that a contractual agreement be concluded between the advertiser and the influencer, which “carries clauses relating to disclosure, use of filters, and due diligence.”
The guidelines recommend that all disclosures be visibly visible in all promotional publications on all devices, be they phones, tablets or personal computers and on all platforms, from Facebook to Twitter. ASCI said, “General disclosures in the profile / biography / information section will not be considered adequate, as people who visit the site may read individual reviews or watch individual videos without seeing the disclosure on another page.”
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