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Influencer advertising is when a brand ties up with a person to use his/her large social media reach to influence his/her followers to buy/influence the opinion about a product or service.

Digital advertising consumption is growing in both rural and urban India. The lines between content and advertising on digital media are blurry. Hence, these guidelines were the need of the hour to safeguard consumer interests. We will help consumers, brands, and content creators and ensure all stakeholders’ interests are preserved through a self-regulatory approach, through all ASCI guidelines.

The guidelines were prepared by the Advertising Standards Council of India by consulting digital creators, brand and marketing organisations, legal professionals, global influencer guidelines as well as media platforms. ASCI also teamed up with BigBang.Social, a leading marketplace for social storytelling to get views from social media influencers.


No, only commercial communication needs to be disclosed. One can continue uploading editorial content without any labels.

Yes, the disclosure label must appear at the beginning and end of the broadcast.

Yes, the disclosure label must clearly appear at the start and end of the audio.

Any connection between an advertiser and influencer that may affect the weight or credibility of the representation made by the influencer. Material connection could include but is not limited to benefits and incentives, such as monetary or other compensation, free products with or without any conditions attached including those received unsolicited, discounts, gifts, contest and sweepstakes entries, trips or hotel stays, media barters, coverage, awards or any family or employment relationship, etc.


The disclosure label must be upfront and prominent, so that the consumer doesn’t have to scroll to see the message. It needs to be prominent in a way viewers don’t miss it and it must be appropriate for the channel. The disclosure should be in English or translated into the language of the advertisement. Please refer to the guidelines (make link) for more details. The following hashtags can be used: #Advertisement, #Ad, #Sponsored, #Collaboration, #Partnership, #Employee, #Free gift. No other labels can be used. This list will be periodically reviewed and new labels could be added to this list.

In cases where communication is not accompanied by any text or caption, the disclosure label needs to be superimposed over the picture so that any user can spot it clearly and understand that it’s a sponsored post.

For videos where there is a caption, the disclosure needs to be made in the caption in a manner that is hard to miss. For videos that last 15 seconds or less and are unaccompanied by a caption or text, social media influencers must add the disclosure labels that stay for a minimum of three seconds. For videos longer than 15 seconds but less than two minutes, the disclosure label must stay for a minimum of 1/3rd of the length of the video. For videos of two minutes or longer – the disclosure has to stay for the entire duration in sections where the promoted brand or its features are mentioned.


The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) will issue a notice to both, the brand owner and influencer for violation of any guidelines. Consumers can send screenshots to ASCI in case of disappearing posts that violate guidelines.
Continued non-compliant influencers will find themselves in the list of non-compliant influencers.