Disclosures in advertising must be hard to miss and not mixed with a group of hashtags or links, consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said on Monday (27 February).
Singh was virtually delivering a keynote address at the #GetItRight Brand Influencer Summit 2023 organised by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in Mumbai.
The Secretary added that for endorsements in pictures, disclosures should be superimposed over the image, and for endorsements in videos, disclosures should be made in both audio and video formats. In live streams, disclosures should be continuously displayed and prominently placed.
Singh highlighted the importance of responsible advertising practices and consumer protection, stating that manufacturers, service providers, advertisers, and advertising agencies have a duty to ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers.
He also cited the Consumer Protection Act 2019 passed by the Parliament, which provides protection against misleading advertisements.
The government's intention is not to obstruct the growth of businesses but to ensure that ethical standards are met, he said.
With over 75 crore internet users in India, of which 50 crore are social media users, Singh noted the paradigm shift from traditional advertising to social media advertising and the importance of conducting it responsibly.
He stressed the need for influencers and celebrities to disclose any material connections with advertisers that may affect the credibility of their representation.
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