LONDON: The Saudi General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM) on Thursday released new guidelines for obtaining “Mawthooq” (trustworthy) licenses to advertise in Saudi Arabia.
Under the campaign name “Your ad is #Mawthooq,” GCAM revealed on its website a list of questions and answers to simplify the process of identifying which businesses need to obtain the license.
For example, an individual promoting work on a personal social media account does not require a Mawthooq license, but working as a marketer in a bank and promoting personal loans as well as banking services on social media requires a license.
Working as a designer and promoting designs on personal social media accounts does not require a Mawthooq license. Similarly, those operating gift wrapping, non-commercial photography and workshop business and using personal social media accounts do not require a license.
The news comes following an announcement by GCAM last August stating that from early October, every Saudi and non-Saudi content creator in the Kingdom who earns revenue through advertising on social media must first apply for an official permit.
For a fee of SR15,000 ($4,000), content creators will receive a permit lasting three years, during which time they can work with as many private entities as they wish and promote any product or service, as long as it does not violate the Kingdom’s laws or values.
The new regulations are being touted as legal protections, both for influencers and businesses wishing to advertise with them, so that rates and contractual obligations are standardized across the industry.
Saudi influencers, whether based in the Kingdom or abroad, must apply for the permit if they wish to work with a brand — local or international. However, non-Saudi residents in the country must follow a different track.
After applying to the Ministry of Investment for a permit to work in the country, they can then apply for an influencer permit through GCAM. However, non-Saudi residents must be represented by specific advertising agencies.