Influencers Hitting 5 lakh Followers Earn Celebrity Tag by Advertising Authority
The Advertising Standards Council of India expands the definition of celebrities, including social media influencers with 5 lakh followers or ₹40 lakh earnings.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has recently updated its definition of 'celebrities'. Now, social media influencers with over 5 lakh followers or earning more than ₹40 lakh per year will be classified as celebrities when appearing in advertisements.
Why This Change?
Historically, brand endorsements were dominated by film stars and sports personalities. But, in today's digital age, influencers on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok have become significant players in the advertising realm. Their enormous influence on consumer behavior has prompted ASCI to broaden its definition of celebrities to include these digital personalities.
What Does This Mean for Influencers?
Being classified as a celebrity carries responsibilities. These influencers, like their traditional celebrity counterparts, are now required to:
- Conduct thorough research before endorsing any product or service.
- Provide evidence of such research if asked by ASCI.
- Avoid endorsing or promoting items that are legally prohibited.
This change is primarily aimed at ensuring the credibility of advertisements and protecting consumers from misleading content. In just a year, the number of misleading ads featuring celebrities skyrocketed from 55 to over 500, highlighting the pressing need for stricter regulations.
Manisha Kapoor, ASCI's CEO, stressed the necessity of this change, noting the deep trust consumers place in social media personalities. Kapoor emphasized that these influencers have a significant influence on purchasing decisions. As such, they must be accountable, especially when endorsing products that might lead to financial or physical harm.
The Consumer Protection Act of 2019 already mandates that anyone endorsing a product—celebrity or not—must do their due diligence. This ensures the information provided is genuine, accurate, and not misleading.
With the rise of social media, influencers have become a driving force in advertising. ASCI’s decision to include them under the 'celebrity' category aims to ensure accountability and protect consumers from potential misinformation in ads. As the digital world continues to evolve, such guidelines become crucial in preserving the integrity of advertising and ensuring consumer trust.