Agencies redo pacts to comply  with  ASCI rules

  • Move comes after ASCI began monitoring social media sites for defaulters
  • New ASCI norms include disclosure of paid partnerships, tagging of posts with promotional tag etc.

Saumya Tewari
Updated22 Jul 2021
Influencer marketing agencies are writing up contracts that clearly state the conditions for various kinds of brand promotions on social media platforms.
Influencer marketing agencies are writing up contracts that clearly state the conditions for various kinds of brand promotions on social media platforms.(Photo: Getty)

Influencer marketing agencies and talent management firms have started putting together fresh contracts or revising existing ones with content creators and social media influencers that clearly state conditions for various kinds of brand promotions.

This comes days after ad regulator Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) said it has actively started monitoring social media platforms for defaulters of its newly formulated guidelines, which include disclosure of paid partnerships, prominent tagging of posts with promotional tag and transparency with the advertisers.

“Our agreement with creators registered on our platform gets governed by general terms and conditions in tandem with influencer specific terms and conditions, which have been in line with globally accepted influencer marketing practices. Post introduction of ASCI guidelines, we have updated the terms to reinforce them in our campaign guidelines by the addition of new clauses,” said Ritesh Ujjwal, founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Kofluence, an influencer marketing agency.

Kofluence has included terms such as the use of upfront/prominent labels (ads or paid promotion), inclusion of minimum disclosure timelines in videos/pictures for paid labels, language of disclosures is either English or same language as of video/picture content, it said. Kofluence claims that before promoting any brand, it does due diligence to satisfy itself about the claims made in ads.

Trinity Gaming, a talent management firm that manages 250 content creators in the gaming space, said it has briefed its legal teams to make additions in existing contracts so that they are fully compliant with ASCI norms.

“We have started to actively inform marketing agencies and brands that our talent will work and post content that is in compliance with ASCI guidelines. So, for any activity if a creator is getting paid, he/she has to post content with a paid promotion tag,” said Abhishek Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Trinity Gaming.

Every brand project, long or short term, is preceded with a contract that now includes details of ASCI norms, said influencer marketing platform ClanConnect, which was launched in November 2020 and acts as a virtual bridge between influencers and marketers.

“Whenever we get a brief from a brand for a campaign, we also let them know about the guidelines. Be it a barter or paid collaboration, this needs to be in line with the ASCI norms, which are platform specific. If it is video content, then a certain set of guidelines need to be followed and in case of an Instagram post, there has to be a #collaboration hashtag that should be used,” said Sagar Pushp, co-founder, ClanConnect, which has a follower base of more than 1,000.

Influencer marketing agency Whoppl said it has non-disclosure agreements for influencers. The agency said it updated all emails that talk about how the influencers have to use the ad hashtag as a part of the caption and use paid partnership tags. “We inform the brands that we are working with in such a way that they will approve the paid partnership tag so that the whole journey becomes seamless,” said Ramya Ramachandran, founder and CEO, Whoppl.

A lot of influencer management agencies also tend to take confirmations on mail and are using term sheets, said Ashutosh Harbola, founder of influencer marketing company Buzzoka. “These requests are also coming from brands, which are playing safe by asking agencies to take acknowledgement from creators and influencers that they will comply with ASCI norms. In case if something goes wrong, the onus will be on the influencer who has signed a prior agreement with the brand,” he said.

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