The Government of India has issued an advisory that mandates social media influencers and celebrities to have more transparency in product promotions. The main idea behind this advisory is to ensure that social media influencers do not mislead the audience. The guidelines mandate that the influencer should stay away from endorsing products or services not experienced or used by them. The influencer should also possess the requisite qualifications to speak about a product or service. Apart from this, the government has also changed the guidelines for influencers in the healthcare sector.

According to the guidelines by the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Consumer Protection Act, influencers need to give out their credentials for advertising as part of a monetised campaign Their credentials should be visible clearly so that people can read them even from a distance. Lastly, it mandates influencers to be honest about their connection to the products they are promoting and clarify if they are gaining financially or otherwise from these campaigns.

According to Dr. Suranjit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, irresponsible marketing in the healthcare sector can be disastrous, thus, only qualified people should be allowed to recommend a medical product or any medical practice.

Given the new regulations, social influencers are urged to confirm if the promises made in the commercials are being met, since consumers get highly impacted by such advertisements. But, while conforming to the new rules, these influencers should not kill the creativity of the advertisement.

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