Health influencers asked to display qualification: Wellness sector lauds move

Apr 12, 2023
Health influencers asked to display qualification: Wellness sector lauds move

The Department of Consumer Affairs has recently said that the government is putting out guidelines for influencers promoting health and wellness products and services. It will become mandatory for influencers in this category to display their qualifications to the department as well as their audiences in order to build credibility for advising on health issues.

Earlier this year, the government along with ASCI came out with guidelines for influencers to clearly state their relationship with the brand and describe the nature of the promotional content. The consumer affairs department said the move was necessary as health and wellness influencers directly influence the health decisions of consumers.

Influencer marketing has become a core part of marketing budgets for the health, wellness and fitness sector. According to the e4m INCA Influencer report, the influencer marketing industry is currently valued at about Rs 1275 crore and is going to grow at a CAGR of 25% for the next 5 years.

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary of Department of Consumer Affairs, said in a recent interview, “We don’t want to interfere with the model. What we are wary of is the consumer being taken for a ride.”

e4m reached out to experts to understand how this decision would impact the influencer economy and what will the strategy now be for influencers. According to Dhruv Modwil, Founder, Nocturnal Media, that the move will surely impact the industry and bring influencers under scrutiny. “The recent move by the Department of Consumer Affairs to scrutinise the qualifications of Health and Wellness influencers is likely to have a significant impact on the industry. Influencer marketing in this field typically involves the promotion of products such as supplements and fitness items, and the scrutiny of qualifications is a necessary step towards ensuring that audiences can trust both the influencer and the brand they are promoting. By requiring influencers to meet certain standards, the DOCA is taking a strong step towards providing audiences with the best and most accurate sources of knowledge in the Health and Wellness industry.”

“In light of recent developments, influencers need to be mindful of the content they post, particularly when making claims about health and fitness benefits. It is crucial for influencers to conduct thorough research and due diligence to ensure that their posts are responsible and accurate,” he added.

As for Sumit Gupta, Founder, Viral Pitch, said, “This development is crucial in ensuring that the healthcare industry is not misused for profit, as it could have serious consequences on the health and well-being of consumers. Regarding influencer marketing, this development means that brands and marketers will need to carefully consider the qualifications of influencers before engaging in promotional activities related to medical products or practices. Additionally, it may lead to an increased demand for qualified healthcare influencers, as they will be the only ones allowed to promote such products or practices.”

“I think these regulations will help to ensure that influencer marketing in the health and wellness industry is done responsibly and ethically, promoting the safety and well-being of consumers. Influencers must disclose their qualifications and credentials when promoting health and wellness products or practices. If they are not qualified experts, they should be transparent with their audience about the source of their information and disclose any potential conflicts of interest, including compensation or other benefits they may receive for promoting specific products,” Gupta added.

Wellness influencer Garima Bhandari also supported the move, saying people have been very concerned about their health after Covid-19. “I feel it’s good to have certain guidelines and regulating policies to monitor everything that is advised on social media Not sure about the qualification but years of experience in the related field definitely counts to give out a considerable segment of health and wellness advice basis personal experience.”

“Increased consumption of social media and digital content during the pandemic has definitely catalysed the market for instant advice on health, wellness, and fitness on social media from people sometimes whose core competency isn’t fitness or wellness related at all,” she added.

Source: exchange4media