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Here is how Influencer Marketing Talent Agencies react to recent guidelines issued to social media influencers

Recently, Consumer Affairs Ministry released endorsement guidelines for social media influencers. A fine of Rs 10 lakh will be slapped on the offenders, which can go up to Rs 50 lakh for repeated offenders, the ministry said. The influencer can even be barred from endorsing products for up to 6 years in case of repeated non-compliance with the guidelines, it added.

The size of the social media influencer market in India in 2022 was Rs 1,275 crore and by 2025 it is likely to rise to Rs 2,800 crore with a CAGR of 19-20 percent. Social media influencers of substance (who have substantial influence or followers) are in excess of one lakh, said Rohit Kumar Singh, the secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Mr. Lokesh Jain, Co-Founder & COO, 8Bit Creatives, India’s leading esports consulting and talent agency which manages 50+ top gaming content creators:

How do you view this development?
These guidelines are indeed a significant step towards building an ecosystem of trust and transparency between the influencers and their loyal fanbase. The unwavering faith that fans put into a creators’ content and their opinions need to be met with unbiased, honest views to distinguish between the products that they are ‘endorsing’. Content creators are responsible for influencing a massive set of people that religiously follow their every step. This set of guidelines will not only help fans figure out the authenticity of the creator they admire but also whether or not they actually utilize the product or services which they endorse.

How do you see this impacting the influencer ecosystem in India?
Firstly, the viewership for these paid ads of an influencer may decrease which in turn can affect the reach and engagement of the creator with their audience. However, this can be avoided if the brand allows freedom to the influencers by integrating their endorsement in the creators’ content through various engaging and fun ways that stop the viewer from skipping the ad. Moreover, brands will also be cautious about the influencer that they are choosing for their particular products and will prefer to opt for a more suitable fit unlike earlier to make the endorsement seem legitimate. Strict implementation of these guidelines may be tough on the creators but it is undoubtedly going to guarantee a transparent relationship full of trust between the audience and creators which is beneficial for the community in the long run.

Rohit Agarwal, Founder & Director, Alpha Zegus, the next-gen marketing agency specializing in the domains of gaming & lifestyle which manages around 70 influencers:

How do you view this development?
This development has been in the works since over a year now, but it’s finally starting to materialize now. It’s good hygiene to follow since there is a definite need to draw a clear demarcation between ‘endorsed’ and ‘recommended’. At present, most influencer ads are coming across as ‘personal recommendations’ without any indication of there being a monetary advantage to the influencer behind it. This becomes unfair to the audience, and they start losing faith in their creator – since they lose track of who the influencer ‘really’ is, and what they really use.

How do you see this impacting the influencer ecosystem in India?
We might see a drop in numbers (reach, engagement, etc.) for branded content, now that there will be a clear disclosure since the audience might just ‘skip the ad’ now that they know it. This might, in turn, cause a drop in creator fees for endorsements, as their fees are highly dependent on these data points. This can be avoided if the influencer finds more innovative ways to showcase the brand and make the branded content ‘enjoyable’ enough like their regular content.

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Raunak Saha
Raunak Saha
A cs engineer by profession but foodie from heart. I am tech lover guy who has a passion for singing. Football is my love and making websites is my hobby.

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