Indian advertisement regulators issues guidelines for heath and financial influencers

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a regulatory organization of the advertising industry in India, has issued additional requirements in its influencer advertising guidelines, requiring that influencers in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector, commonly referred to as ‘finfluencers‘, must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulatory body for securities and commodity market in India to provide investment-related advice.

According to the new guidelines, influencers endorsing health and nutrition products and making claims, must hold relevant qualifications such as medical degrees or certifications in areas such as nursing, nutrition, dietetics, physiotherapy, or psychology, depending on the type of advice provided. These qualifications should be prominently disclosed.

For ‘finfluencers’, their SEBI registration number should be prominently displayed alongside their qualifications. For other financial advice, they are required to have appropriate credentials. In addition, compliance with disclosure prerequisites outlined by financial sector regulators is expected.

Violations of these guidelines may lead to penalties under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and other relevant provisions of the law.