■ Revised guidelines on social media influencers issued by the National Media Council (NMC) on Monday.
■ Influencers must be duly licensed as such by the National Media Council (NMC)
■ They must clearly identify advertisements posted on social media, websites or blogs.
■ It should be clearly disclosed as to whether the advertisements are paid-for promotions
■ Clear lines should be placed between the advertisement and other content;
■ In broadcast, time intervals should between content and advertisement
Abu Dhabi: Influencers duly licensed by the National Media Council (NMC) must clearly identify advertisements posted on social media, websites or blogs, according to a revised guide published by the NMC on Monday.
The guidelines point out that these ads should appear in a manner distinct and independent from editorial and information material.
Additionally, it should be clearly disclosed as to whether the advertisements are paid-for promotions.
“The advertisements must appear distinctively and separately from any other media content. Clear borders should be placed between the advertisement and other content and time intervals should be placed in the event of a broadcast,” states the guide launched by Dr Rashid Al Nuaimi, executive director of Media Affairs at the NMC.
“Disclosure must be made clearly in case there is any financial or in-kind payment by the issuing authority for publications or articles published on social media, websites or blogs.”
Dr Al Nuaimi said individuals and institutions involved in the UAE’s advertising sector are required to adhere to the standards outlined in the guide.
He said the new guide stresses that advertisers should not harm the economic system of the country, should not spread rumours or biased and misleading news and should not publish images or words that violate public morals.
Respect for intellectual property rights
Advertisers are required to respect intellectual property rights, maintain ethical codes of conduct and uphold standards of honesty.
Dr Al Nuaimi added that advertisers are also required to comply with rules governing consumer protection and fair competition controls, commercial fraud and legal monopoly.
“The rapid growth of the global media sector has seen the advertising sector in the UAE play an ever-increasing role in driving the economy,” Dr Al Nuaimi said.
“It contributes to the increase of product consumption which in turns leads to an increase in production output — a fundamental aspect of economic development. Effective advertising can also support cultural heritage and the civilisation of the country,” he added.
“Advertising for alcohol, narcotics and tobacco in all its forms is prohibited and prior approval should be sought from concerned authorities with regard to advertisements that relate to health, education and real estate.”
He added any advertising for witchcraft, sorcery and astrology would not be allowed.
“Advertisers should avoid disseminating information that harms or abuses children and women, or any other social groups or incites hatred and violence,” Dr Al Nuaimi said.
Details of new guide on advertisements
The new guide emphasises that advertisements must not be vague, ambiguous or unclear.
They also should not contain false or misleading claims, should not use falsifies images; should not exaggerate claims around the product or service being advertised; should not lead to confusion with other names, products or activities, should not endorse criminal activities and should not violate the existing standards relating to media content and age classification rules.
According to the guide, activities on social media that are exempt from NMC licences include charitable and volunteer activities, free-of-charge advertising conducted on a non-commercial basis and any other activities the NMC deems exempt.
Advertisers should take into account any requirements and licences that may be required by other authorities.