• | 11:30 am

Saudi Arabia mandates social media ad licenses for influencers and celebrities

The government looks to regulate the advertising sector and digital content by mandating licenses for individuals.

Saudi Arabia mandates social media ad licenses for influencers and celebrities
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The Saudi Arabian government has decided to make it mandatory for influencers and celebrities to procure licenses to publish advertisements on social media platforms.

This license will cost approximately $4000, will be valid for three years, and can be applied through the I’lam platform. According to the General Commission for Audio Visual Media in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this step has been taken to “regulate the advertising sector and digital content in the Kingdom.”

The license will only be available to all Saudi Citizens living in the country or abroad, and agencies have been mandated not to collaborate with non-licensed individuals.

The citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are also allowed to obtain advertising licenses. However, they can do so by producing an investment license to work with an advertising agency.

Majid Bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media of the Kingdom, announced that social media creators or influencers need to obtain this license before October 1 to avoid financial penalties or legal consequences.

Additionally, the celebrity or influencer will be required to put a disclaimer for sponsored content, written or oral. Such advertisements can be carried out only on the social media account registered with the commission and linked to the license.

Earlier, in June, non-Saudi residents and foreigners were banned from posting promotional content on social media. The violators were subject to a fine of $1.3 million or a possible five-year prison sentence.

A similar license is required in the UAE, which costs $4000 and can be renewed yearly.

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