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On May 14, 2021, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) revealed the most up-to-date influencer marketing and advertising guidelines on social media.

On or after June 14, the concepts will be used in commercial messages or ads. Influencers must label the promotional content they post as a result of the guidelines. ASCI Chairman Subhash Kamath stated that after watching television or reading newspapers, people could differentiate between this program or content and the advertisement with ease. But it isn’t always easy to recognise in social media.

As per the guidelines, suppose the advertisement is a photo or video post without accompanying text (such as Instagram or Snapchat stories), in that case, the disclosure label should be overlaid over the picture/video. It should be ensured that the normal user can see it clearly – like it shouldn’t be written in light colour or small font.

When the sponsored content is a video, the disclosure mark must be visible for at least three seconds within the video. Throughout movies longer than 2 minutes, the disclosure name must last for the duration of the part in which the product is promoted. The disclosure must not be coated in a slew of hashtags or links.

The disclosure label should be displayed at the start and end of the live stream. In audio media, the disclosure must be primarily announced at the start and end of the audio.

Influencers are also encouraged by ASCI to review items and services before recommending them to their followers. There should also be no misinformation about the product inside the sponsored content at any time. Here, due diligence is required.

Besides the guidelines, ASCI wants to create a comprehensive educational strategy to impact influencer marketing and advertising. To accomplish this, ASCI is releasing the ASCI.Social platform, which will serve as an all-inclusive place for all information linked to guidelines. The digital platform will be user-friendly, including dos and don’ts and FAQs.

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