meesho: Smear campaigns against Meesho might be violating guidelines, says Advertising Council


Mumbai: If the allegations against social media influencers for running smear campaigns against social commerce firm Meesho are proven to be true, then they are in violation of its guidelines, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has said. Meesho had sent legal notices to some social media influencers and certain people in contact with them for allegedly running smear campaigns against the company.

“In this (Meesho’s) case, if the allegations are proven to be true, then these influencers are seriously misguiding the public and are in violation of ASCI’s guidelines on misleading ads. They could also be prosecuted under the Consumer Protection Act,” said Manisha Kapoor, CEO and secretary-general, ASCI.

The company said that on June 2, a Twitter user “exposed a concerted campaign against Meesho” in which several influencers put out a series of tweets tagging the company’s investors.


Meesho said their aim was to malign its reputation by spreading lies.

“Following the exposé, some influencers acknowledged that the tweets were paid promotions while others deleted their posts,” Meesho said.

Kapoor said ASCI guidelines on influencer advertising in digital media require them to disclose any material connection “including, but not limited to, benefits and incentives, monetary or otherwise.” “ASCI also dictates that the placement of the disclosure should be clearly visible and should not be buried under other content. The placement should be such that it is hard to miss for an average consumer,” Kapoor said.

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In the case of Instagram or YouTube, the influencer could use the disclosure tools provided on the platform. It is also the responsibility of both the advertiser and the influencer to see that the content posted by the influencer follows the ASCI codes and its guidelines, she added. Meesho said this was not the first time that it had been targeted by “those with vested interests looking to defame the company”.

Several Twitter users came forward to say that they were asked to put out negative tweets about Meesho earlier this year in return for money.

Meesho said it would continue to monitor the situation and consider taking legal action against “those spreading misinformation and lies about the company”.

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