With the advent of the social media boom, a new generation of advertising was born. Hordes of millennials with a staggering social media following replaced movie stars as the go-to ambassadors of popular brands. The likes of Scherezade Shroff, Prajakta Koli – also known as MostlySane blew up on YouTube. Influencers like Radhika Bangia, Sejal Kumar shot to popularity on Instagram. TikTok isn’t far behind either. Jannat Zubair became the TikTok queen with a whopping 19.3M followers.
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Brands like Zomato, KFC and PayTM soon jumped the bandwagon to run exclusive campaigns with TikTok and Instagram influencers to promote their products so much so that the India’s ‘Social Media Influencers’ market has grown to $75-150 million a year.
Having said that, sometimes, there is no way of distinguishing genuine reviews from paid content. This is about to change under the watch of the regulatory body, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
ASCI has announced that Social Media Influencers will now have to adhere to disclosure rules while posting promotional content. The move is supposed to help consumers make informed decisions regarding their purchases. While this may have adverse effects on the growing influencer industry, it also signifies a bigger shift. The announcement is a sign that the big shots of advertising are finally acknowledging the underdog. It will help formalize the sector as an official game changer in the world of advertising. And yes, Social Media Influencers might finally be able to tell their parents, “Yes I have a real job!”
By Prachi Shevgaonkar and Wajendhar