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The Advertising Standards Council of India in its latest report called out many big names from the B-town including Amitabh Bachchan, Neena Gupta, Mika Singh, Urvashi Rautela and Jacqueline Fernandez along with social media influencers like Bhuvan Bam, Shlok Srivastava, Jannat Zubair, Anushka Sen among many others.

Renowned sports persons including AB de Villiers, PV Sindhu and Manu Bhaker were also called out by ASCI in the list for breaching guidelines for influencers on digital platforms.

There was a 41% increase in the number of celebrity ads processed by the self-regulator this year. Out of 55 ads featuring celebrities that were processed by ASCI, 92% ads violated the ASCI code. 

On October 27, 2021, veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan took to Twitter to congratulate Kalyan Jewellers for the inauguration of their 150th store. There was no mention of the disclosure as to whether it was a paid gimmick by Kalyan Jewellers and thus it breached the ASCI code. 

Actor Jacqueline Fernandez had also re-posted Colorbar’s video featuring Colorbar x Jacqueline makeup collection which didn’t contain any disclosure in terms of the material connection between the two. As a result, it was also considered to be breaching the influencer guidelines of the self-regulator.

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A post shared by Jacqueline Fernandez (@jacquelinef143)

Another Bollywood personality that was listed amongst the non-compliant influencers was Neena Gupta. Last year in June, Gupta had released her autobiography, ‘Sach Kahun Toh’, which was available on Flipkart. She took to Twitter to promote her book reading with the e-commerce platform under which the audience could also get their hands on signed copies of her book. The tweet was found to be violative of influencer guidelines due to the absence of disclosure. 

Last year, ASCI had released guidelines for social media influencers which led to a 186.5% increase in consumer complaints, the report stated. However, influencers contributed to over 29% of ad complaints processed by ASCI.

Out of 1,593 complaints processed against influencers in 2021-22, the top five categories that dealt with influencer violations were crypto (24.16%), personal care (23.2%), fashion (16.3%), e-commerce (8.4%) and food and beverages (8%).

Bhuvan Bam who is famous for his YouTube channel- ‘BB Ki Vines’, was also called out by ASCI for his promotional tweet on Myntra ‘End of Reason Sale’. Last year, in December, Bam through his tweet influenced his followers to resort to Myntra for getting the widest range of brands and styles but failed to mention the disclosure regarding material connection, leading to the violation of ASCI guidelines. 

Shlok Srivastava a.k.a Tech Burner was also called out in ASCI’s list of non-compliant influencers for his unboxing and quick-look video on Realme Pad since it didn’t have any mention of the disclosure of paid promotions in the nearly-seven-minutes screenplay time.

Furthermore, Jannat Zubair Rehmani who is often seen sharing promotional posts of MyFitness peanut butter on her Instagram handle was also called out for the same by ASCI. In one of her promotional videos, there was no mention of the post type as to whether it was paid or not, which drew ASCI’s attention and led to her being named under the list of non-compliant influencers.

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A post shared by Jannat Zubair Rahmani (@jannatzubair29)

Anushka Sen, who is known for her role of ‘Misti’ in Zee TV’s ‘Yahan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli’, was also called out by ASCI for her Instagram post mentioning Meetha by Radisson, Goregaon in the captions while she failed to mention the material connection between her and the hotel chain.

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A post shared by Anushka Sen (@anushkasen0408)

Not only Bollywood celebs and influencers made it to ASCI’s list of non-compliant influencers, but renowned sportsmen from different countries and from the arenas of cricket, shooting and badminton. They were also found breaching the guidelines as they didn’t mention the disclosure and thus misled their followers and audience.

AB de Villiers, a former South-African cricketer, was also found guilty of being non-compliant to ASCI’s guidelines. In December 2021, Villiers had tweeted regarding Myntra’s End of Reason Sale but had failed to clarify it in his tweet whether this was paid promotion or not and thus came under the radar of ASCI. 

Manu Bhaker, the Indian Olympian known, was also called out for her tweet in which she urged her followers and the rest of the audience to follow necessary Covid-19 safety protocols in association with Mobil India. But there was no mention of a material connection between the brand and the athlete and thereby Bhaker was also named in the list of non-compliant influencers.

Indian Badminton star P V Sindhu was also named under the non-compliant influencers list for her tweet on Flipkart Big Billion Days in October last year under which badminton enthusiasts could purchase her signed-collection of limited-edition Li-ning G-Force Superlite Max 9 badminton racquets. She also failed to mention the disclosure details in her tweet.