E-commerce startup Meesho issued a legal notice to some social media influencers and people in contact with those influencers, alleging that they were orchestrating a smear campaign against the company. Meesho confirmed that it had sent a legal notice in a statement to Entrackr but declined to provide a copy of the document.
“On June 2, 2022, Twitter user Ravisutanjani Kumar (@Ravisutanjani) exposed a concerted campaign against Meesho wherein several influencers put out a series of tweets tagging the company’s investors, with an aim to allegedly malign the company’s reputation by spreading falsehood and lies. Following the exposé, some influencers acknowledged that said tweets were paid promotions while others deleted their posts,” Meesho said in a statement.
Four influencers highlighted by Kumar — Zinal Shah, who posts on startups; Rajesh Shah, an investor; Mahima Jalan, a personal brand consultant; and Ashish Jain, a sales professional — had shared an Economic Times report about the company’s efforts to cut costs, and tagged investors in the company. While the tweets were all different, they linked the same article and tagged investors.
“This is not the first time that Meesho has been targeted by those with vested interests looking to defame the company,” Meesho said in its statement. “Twitter users Udita Pal and Aashima Arora voluntarily came forward to share instances from earlier this year where they were approached to put out negative tweets about the company in lieu of monetary benefits.”
It is unclear what law Meesho’s legal notice is accusing the influencers of violating. Moneycontrol, which viewed a copy of the report, reported that the legal notice demanded that the influencers reveal who the marketing manager who assigned them this content was, and that they put out an apology to Meesho.
The Guidelines For Influencer Advertising In Digital Media put out by the Advertising Standards Council of India — which are voluntary in nature — require social media influencers to disclose when they are paid to post content. We have reached out to the ASCI for comment on whether such a case is in violation of those guidelines.