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ASCI accepts paid partnership tag on Instagram as adequate disclosure for influencer advertising

As the influencer marketing industry is booming in India, the Advertising Standards Council of India(ASCI) has lately been working on guidelines for influencer advertising. While the council officially released guidelines for influencer advertising in India on June 24, 2021, it has now agreed to accept paid partnership tag on Instagram as an adequate disclosure for influencer advertising. As per ASCI, the paid partnership tag that influencers carry in their advertorial posts on Instagram meets the principles of the ASCI guidelines for influencer advertising on digital media. It is of the view that the move will help reduce the burden on brands and influencers and as well as encourage greater compliance with existing guidelines.

The guidelines which were released in June are applicable to commercial messages or advertisements published on or after June 14, 2021. ASCI framed the guidelines after extensive feedback from all stakeholders – advertisers, agencies, influencers, and consumers. According to the guidelines, it is mandatory for influencers to label the promotional content they post and ensure that it is identified as paid promotion. Since releasing the guidelines, ASCI screened around 5,000 posts until December 2021. Over the period of six months, it processed 729 complaints which were considered to be prima facie violations of the guidelines. From the total complaints, ASCI saw a total compliance of 86%, where influencers modified the posts that were complained against, ASCI said in a statement.

The Indian influencer marketing industry is estimated to reach a value of Rs 900 crore by the end of 2021, according to GroupM INCA’s India Influencer Marketing Report, launched in September 2021. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% till 2025 to reach a size of Rs 2,200 crore, the report added. Moreover, a majority of marketers are set to increase their spend on influencer marketing.

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