21% of the 10,093 complaints processed in FY2024 were against influencer guidelines: ASCI

The ASCI Report 2024 reveals data on widespread advertising violations. A careful look at the digital world reveals problems beyond misinformation or disinformation; Influencer marketing is on the rise, but at what cost?

BuzzInContent Bureau
New Update

New Delhi: The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in its latest report for FY 2023-24, presented staggering figures regarding ad violations in the influencer marketing space.

ASCI examined 10,093 complaints and investigated 8,299 advertisements. Out of these, 1,702 (21%) complaints processed were against influencer guidelines. While ASCI achieved an 89% compliance rate, 99% of ads were in violation of influencer guidelines.

According to the report, 0.5% of influencer-related complaints were dismissed, 76% were non-contested, 23% of complaints were upheld, and 0.5% were in direct violation.

This report comes amidst a landmark Supreme Court ruling in May 2024. The situation urges preventive measures rather than just being prepared for compensatory measures.

Earlier, the SC asserted that celebrities, social media influencers, and advertisers all share equal responsibility for the accuracy and legitimacy of the products and services they endorse. This ruling underscores the importance of influencers acting with due diligence and possessing genuine knowledge about the products they promote. 

Herein, the ASCI report highlighted a concerning trend: a significant number of influencer marketing campaigns violate advertising guidelines. It raises serious questions about consumer protection and the ethical responsibility of influencers and brands alike.

This year, healthcare emerged as the most violative sector, contributing to 19% of cases, followed by illegal offshore betting (17%), personal care (13%), conventional education (12%), food and beverage (10%), and realty (7%). Baby care emerged as a new contender in the top violators category, with influencer promotions contributing to 81% of baby care cases.

Of the 1064 ads that ASCI examined in personal care, 95% of them appeared online, with more than half (55%) being influencer non-disclosure cases.

Celebrities continued to appear in ads that were in violation of the ASCI code. ASCI processed complaints against 101 ads featuring celebrities, 91% of which required modification. 104 celebrities appearing in these 101 ads were found to be in violation of the celebrity guidelines as they could not provide any evidence of due diligence. It may be noted that due diligence is also a requirement under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. The top five violative categories for celebrity violations were personal care (22%), food and beverages (21%), illegal/betting (20%), healthcare (9%), and durables (6%).

Figures also reflected that the number one platform for such faulty information dissemination is social media. All of this, driven mostly by vague social media captions, ambiguous data to support their stance on a particular brand/product, and a disregard for advertisement regulations.

Top 5 Violations in the Influencer Marketing Domain


Influencer Marketing Violations

Personal Care

13% of 1,041

Food and Beverage

10% of 783

Fashion and Lifestyle

5% of 415

Real Money Gaming

6% of 492


1% of 90


2% of 141

Short-form ads, content-mimicking marketing, and new D2C brands are some areas that cannot ensure a hundred percent compliance with regulations. In 2024, over 25,000 advertisements were screened, and 87% of these were from the digital medium.

The ASCI report serves as a wake-up call for the influencer marketing industry. Both influencers and brands need to be better informed about advertising regulations and ethical marketing practices. Across social media platforms, there’s a need for stricter content moderation policies and the promotion of transparency in influencer partnerships. 

Therefore, the ASCI Responsible on influencing Playbook serves as an easy learning guide with an e-certificate by the end of it. It is customised for influencers such that it can help the influencer understand the need for accountability and responsibility when agreeing to endorse a brand.