India: Ranveer Singh, Jacqueline Fernandez among stars in violation of influencer ad guidelines

Some celebrities, however, have adapted to the new norms and mention if their post is sponsored


A Staff Reporter

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Photos: Instagram
Photos: Instagram

Published: Sat 29 Jan 2022, 4:21 PM

Bollywood stars, sports personalities and social celebrities are often approached by corporates, offering hefty sums and wanting them to promote their products and services on social media including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, blogs and vlogs.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) in May 2021 launched its Guidelines for Influencer Advertising in Digital Media to ensure transparency of branded promotions by influencers on social media.

The Report on Influencer Advertising Guidelines, based on ASCI’s monitoring, has now been released and some prominent celebrities have been mentioned for absence of disclosures, inconsistencies and incorrect placement of the labels.

They include actors Jacqueline Fernandez (with 57.7 million followers on Instagram), Urvashi Rautela (45.3 million) and Ranveer Singh (38.3 million), who failed to adhere to the guidelines. Ads without disclosures related to sectors including fashion and lifestyle (29 per cent), cosmetics (19 per cent), food and beverage (13 per cent) and personal care (12 per cent).

But some celebrities have adapted to the new norms. Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, for instance, mentions ‘Paid partnership’ right at the top of his postings, when they are sponsored.


According to ASCI, a large percentage of social media influencers responded positively and complied with the norms. About 80 per cent of them withdrew or amended their posts after the council told them that they had breached the guidelines.

Over the past six months, ASCI screened about 5,000 posts, stories and feeds from influencer handles. More than 700 posts were seen prima facie in violation of the guidelines. While 21 per cent of the complaints were from end-consumers, the rest were picked up its AI-based surveillance.

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