Steve Tan, the Managing Director of xNARA, stated, "At xNARA, we prioritize a pay-for-performance influencer marketing program that ensures transparency.
xNARA, a prominent global health solutions brand offering personalized supplements, recently achieved a legal victory, securing a total of $90,000 in settlements from three influencers: Manoj Kumar, Ishan Akhtar, and Shweta Gaur. These influencers faced legal repercussions after issuing harmful statements on social media about xNARA's products, leading to defamation cases. xNARA's response was swift and decisive, involving filing complaints under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, issuing legal notices, and pursuing cross-jurisdictional police complaints in Delhi, UP, and Haryana. This comprehensive legal approach, backed by significant involvement from legal, police, and government authorities, culminated in the settlements.
Steve Tan, the Managing Director of xNARA, stated, "At xNARA, we prioritize a pay-for-performance influencer marketing program that ensures transparency. While most influencers uphold our standards, a minority who propagate false claims are swiftly held accountable through legal channels. Our commitment to setting industry benchmarks is unwavering, and we won't hesitate to confront and publicly address any defamatory actions against us."
Presently, xNARA is preparing to extend its legal actions against influencers in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and India. The company's legal efforts are supported by a diverse international legal team, primarily based in Singapore and Dubai, consisting of over a dozen in-house legal experts.
The case against Manoj Kumar, a well-known influencer active in both Dubai and India, is particularly notable. Kumar resorted to publishing negative feedback and false accusations on social media platforms after failing to meet pre-agreed targets with xNARA. His actions, including spreading rumors that the brand was a 'scam' and threatening company employees, led to significant reputational damage for xNARA. As part of the settlement, Kumar agreed to compensate xNARA with Rs. 20,00,000, acknowledging the harm caused to the company’s business and reputation.
Kumar, engaged under a performance-based compensation model, overlooked key aspects of his agreement at the outset. After a 90-day performance review revealed suboptimal content, he reacted by publicly denouncing xNARA's products as inadequate and ineffective, advising against their purchase. His defamatory actions attracted negative attention and adversely impacted xNARA's brand image. Furthermore, Kumar's posts on xNARA's social media and other review platforms contributed to the negative perception of the brand. His behavior appeared motivated by a desire for payment despite underperforming.
In another case, Ishan Akhtar faced legal consequences for contract breach. Akhtar resorted to threats and false allegations on social media when confronted with poor performance outcomes. He agreed to pay xNARA Rs. 35,00,000 as part of the settlement. Akhtar's dissatisfaction led him to assert that the product caused discomfort and insinuated it lacked genuine ingredients, instead containing only cornstarch. These defamatory statements garnered negative attention and contributed to deteriorating the brand's image. Despite being informed that the products provided to influencers contained cornstarch, Akhtar continued to exploit this information, attempting to mislead the public.
Shweta Gaur's Case (legally stamped by the Indian government and Delhi Police Commissioner and Notary):
Shweta Gaur, a smaller-scale influencer with about 30.2k followers on Instagram, became the third individual embroiled in xNARA's defamation cases. She faced legal challenges for issuing false and damaging remarks about xNARA's products. Gaur opted to settle the matter after a police investigation, agreeing to compensate xNARA with Rs. 20 lakhs to address the harm inflicted on the company's business and reputation.
Engaged under xNARA's performance-based compensation model, Gaur initially overlooked the implications of this agreement. A 90-day evaluation revealed her content's subpar performance, prompting her to publicly denounce the company as a scam. This defamation not only attracted negative attention but also significantly harmed xNARA's brand image. Moreover, Gaur's adverse comments on xNARA's social media and other online platforms further contributed to creating an unfavorable perception of the brand.
The settlement agreements, which adhered to respective state laws, required the involved influencers to take their social media accounts private for 30 days as a form of penalty. These agreements were overseen by the Indian police and attested by legal authorities under police supervision, ensuring their compliance with legal standards.
xNARA's decisive legal action against these influencers marks a significant precedent in the digital marketing sphere. The company's ability to secure substantial settlements emphasizes the serious legal implications of online defamation, particularly in the context of influencer marketing. This series of cases serves as a stark reminder that social media, while a potent tool for brand promotion, can also be a ground for legal disputes when used irresponsibly.
These settlements go beyond mere financial compensation; they represent a broader call for accountability in the digital age. Influencers, who wield considerable influence over public opinion, must recognize their responsibility in disseminating information. The actions taken by xNARA underline the necessity for influencers to adhere to ethical standards and the potential legal consequences of failing to do so.
Furthermore, the outcomes of these cases reinforce the need for transparent and responsible communication in the burgeoning field of influencer marketing. Brands and influencers alike should view these incidents as cautionary tales, highlighting the importance of integrity and honesty in their online engagements.
In an era where social media's impact is ever-increasing, xNARA's successful pursuit of justice against defamation not only vindicates its own reputation but also sets a vital precedent for the industry. It sends a clear message to the digital marketing world: the power of social media must be wielded with caution and respect, and those who misuse it to spread falsehoods and harm reputations will face significant legal and financial repercussions.