2,767 Complaints Against Social Media Influencers: ASCI

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2,767 Complaints Against Social Media Influencers: ASCI

| Updated: February 16, 2023 16:48

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) reported on Thursday that since the release of the influencer rules in May 2021, 2,767 complaints had been handled.

According to the self-regulatory body for the advertising business, more than half of the infractions were discovered on the Instagram platform, which is owned by Meta, while a third was detected on Youtube, which is controlled by Alphabet. The body said that adjustments were needed in more than 90% of the cases.

“…the Central Consumer Protection Authorities also now require disclosure of material connection between brands and influencers. Hence, non-disclosures are potential violations of the law,” the body’s chief executive and secretary general Manisha Kapoor said.

The total number of violations in FY22 was 1,592, with virtual digital currencies like bitcoin leading with almost 24% of all violations, and the personal care category coming in second with 23%.

There were 1,175 complaints received in the first nine months of FY23 (April–December 2022), with the personal care category leading with a third of them, followed by food and beverage at 16%.

In FY22, 53% of violations were attributed to Instagram; this number rose to 65% in the first nine months of FY23, while the same percentage dropped from 37.8% to 27% for Youtube.

The body also polled 820 respondents, and it discovered that 79% of them trusted influencers and 90% had made purchases based on their recommendations.

According to the report, relevant lifestyle and content are the second and third most important factors in influencer trust after transparency and honesty regarding brand linkages.

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