Disclaimers must for celeb-influencers on health issues: Govt.
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8 months ago 12:11:38pm Television

Disclaimers must for celeb-influencers on health issues: Govt.

New Delhi, August 10, 2023, By IBW Team

Disclaimers must for celeb-influencers on health issues: Govt.

As part of new guidelines issued on Thursday, the government stated that “disclosure or disclaimer” is required for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers who endorse as health experts or medical practitioners.

Even medical practitioners, health and fitness experts who have received certification from recognized institutions must “disclose” that they are certified health/fitness experts and medical practitioners when sharing information, promoting products or services, or making health-related claims.

The nodal Consumer Affairs Ministry issued these additional guidelines for celebrities, influencers, and virtual influencers in the field of health and wellness, PTI reported from New Delhi.

The guidelines were issued following discussions with stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Ayush, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

“Celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers presenting themselves as health experts or medical practitioners, when sharing information, promoting products or services or making any health-related claims, must provide clear disclaimers, ensuring the audience understands that their endorsements should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment,” the ministry said.

This “disclosure or disclaimer” is necessary when talking or making claims on topics such as health advantages including those derived from food items and nutraceuticals, disease prevention, treatment or cure, medical conditions, recovery methodologies or immunity boosting, etc., it said.

“This disclosure or disclaimer should be displayed during endorsements, promotions, or at any instance of making health-related assertions,” it added.

The ministry further said the celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers presenting themselves as health experts or medical practitioners should “clearly distinguish between their personal views and professional advice” and “refrain from making specific health claims without substantiated facts”.

“It is always recommended to encourage audiences to consult with healthcare professionals for seeking professional medical advice and complete information about the products or services,” it added.

However exemption from these regulations are given to general wellness and health advice which are not associated with specific products/services or not targeting specific health conditions or outcomes.

The general wellness and health advice could be ‘Drink Water and Stay Hydrated’, ‘Exercise Regularly and Be Physically Active’, ‘Reduce Sitting and Screen Time’, ‘Get Enough Good Sleep’, ‘Drink Turmeric Milk for faster recovery’, ‘Use sunscreen daily to protect from harmful UV rays’, ‘Oiling of hair for better growth’, etc.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will actively monitor and enforce these guidelines. Violations may lead to penalties under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and other relevant provisions of the law.

“The additional guidelines aim to deal with misleading advertisements, unsubstantiated claims and ensure transparency in health and wellness endorsements,” the ministry said, adding that this guideline will further strengthen the industry and protect consumer interests.

These guidelines are an important extension to the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022 released on June 9, 2022 and in lieu of the “Endorsement Know-hows!” guide booklet released on January 20 this year, it added.


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