Social media influencing has become big business for personalities, with a large number of followings on channels like Instagram in particular, commanding fees of hundreds or thousands of dirhams for promotional posts. While it has been over a year since the National Media Council levied new advertising rules and legal requirements for social media influencers to operate, but many have been caught flouting the norms. Paid influencers without license are yet to abide by the rules.
License for Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers in UAE who made money from promoting brands and businesses require a media licence. The licence is quite similar to those that magazines and newspapers acquire from the authorities. And though it’s not intended to constrain creativity, the social media license ensures that earnings are above board and standards are high. Since new laws regulating the industry were brought into force last year, more than 3,000 people have been granted licences to operate as social media marketers in the UAE. From March 2018, it became mandatory for all social media marketers to get licence from the National Media Council. Influencers must apply for a trade licence and an e-media licence at a cost of Dh15,000 to post content promoting brands on social media.
Fine of Dh5,000
The Media Licensing Department at the NMC has been discovering several paid influencers operating without a licence every day. Though the numbers have yet to be revealed, these unlicensed influencers have been hit with fines for breaching the regulations. Paid influencers operating without a licence invite a fine of Dh5,000, a verbal or official warning, and/or closure of the website or account.