Post Thumb

1 in every 4 brands’ content processed by ASCI had an influencer violation, stated ASCI Annual Complaints Report 2022–23

The report mentioned that influencer violations stood at 26%, with 2,039 complaints being processed against them. 

During the period, ASCI reviewed 7,928 advertisements across different media, including print, digital and television. 

Categories, including personal care, food and beverage and fashion and lifestyle, topped the list of influencer-related violations.

Honasa Consumer had the highest number (15) of non-compliant influencers, followed by Nykaa (11) and Apple (10). 

The few major brands with more than 7 non-compliant influencers include MSM, Urbanic, Sea Turtle, Amazon Seller, Purplay Skin Sciences, Dot & Key Wellness, Myntra, Byond Life NFT and HYPD marketing. 

Some of the non-compliant influencers that created content for Honasa are Pooja, Reyansh, Kanika Rana Sharma, Arpita Ghoshal, Prerna Vats, Ankit Azad and a few more. 

The names of the non-compliant influencers for Nykaa are Prakriti Pavani, Yukti Thareja Giri Sawalkar, Vishaka, Aroshi and others. 

Here’s the complete list of brands and non-compliant influencers:

Last year, ASCI processed 2,767 complaints since coming up with influencer guidelines in May 2021. In FY22, the total number of violations stood at 1,592, with virtual digital assets like bitcoins topping with nearly 24%, followed closely by the personal care category which accounted for 23%.

In February 2023, ASCI released another report titled “Objectionable ads in the Beauty and Personal Care Category and the rising impact of influencer marketing & D2C brands”, which mentioned that social media influencers were responsible for 68% of the ads processed in the personal care category, out of which 92% violated the ASCI Code and required modifications.

Earlier in April 2023, the government had suggested the formation of a self-regulatory body for the influencer ecosystem and the development of a creator or influencer recognition program.

In the past, the government had clarified that for paid or barter brand endorsement, disclosures such as "advertisement", "ad," "sponsored", "collaboration", or "partnership" can be used. However, the term must be indicated as a hashtag or headline text.

At the beginning of the year, the consumer ministry had also come out with guidelines for social media influencers. As per the guidelines, any endorser who fails to comply with the guidelines can be fined Rs 10 lakhs and in case of a repeat violation, the penalty can go up to Rs 50 lakhs in addition to a stop on endorsements by them for a period of six months to two years.

According to the ASCI’s dipstick done last year, 91% of people trust advertising in general, and 79% of respondents trust social media influencers. As per the report, transparency and honesty stood out as the key reasons why consumers trust influencers on social media (63%), followed by relatable content (57%), and personal stories (53%).

75% of violative ads were spotted on digital media, raising concerns about the online safety of consumers.

As per the report, celebrities continue to mislead consumers, which is an 803% increase in ads processed against celebrities (503 ads as opposed to 55 ads the previous year). 

In spite of the Consumer Protection Act now legally requiring celebrities to do their due diligence when they appear in ads, in 97% of cases processed by ASCI featuring celebrities, they failed to provide any evidence of due diligence.