Violations of National Media Council's standards could lead to heavy fines of between AED 5,000 and AED 20,000
Social media influencers must clearly identify content as advertisements, according to new regulations from the UAE’s National Media Council.
On Monday, the NMC unveiled new guidelines governing advertisements in the UAE which noted that “advertisements must be identified on social media clearly”.
“The advertisement must appear distinctly and separately from media or written material or any other material,” the new rules state. “Clear borders should be placed between the advertisement and other content and time intervals should be placed in the event of a broadcast.”
The regulations also state that the use of hashtags – such as #ad or #paid_ad – are not to be “accompanied by many hashtags in such a way that they are hard to see.”
Additionally, the NMC noted that the terms “thank you for” or ‘in cooperation with” are not sufficient to disclose whether any advertisement is paid or not.
The 19 advertising standards identified by the NMC also include showing respect for the UAE’s systems and policies at an internal level and its relations with other countries, avoiding images that harm public morality, respecting intellectual property rights and a ban on tobacco advertising of any kind.
According to the NMC, violations of the advertising rules will lead, initially, to a fine of AED 5,000 to be paid within a period not exceeding five working days, with penalties of AED 100 per day charged for each day the payment is delayed up to a maximum payment of AED 5,000.
The fine will be doubled if the same violation is repeated within a year of the previous offence, provided that it shall not exceed AED 20,000.
The NMC also reserves the right delete any part of any advertisement that violates the standards and to prohibit the circulation, printing or entry of printed, audio or visual material with violations that cannot be deleted.