ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s digital marketing industry professionals say they fear a decline in social media marketing channels after the online safety law was passed.
“Content developers, planners, the entire ecosystem will be impacted. Social media channels need to be active, but now people will restrict their activities – efficiency will be limited,” Managing Director of Ogilvy, Lalith Sumanasiri said.
The online safety law may cause social media users to self-censor and curb their social media usage, he said speaking at a panel discussion on the law and its impact on the digital marketing industry, on Thursday (1).
According to Sumanasiri, 14.5 million Sri Lankans have internet access and 50 percent of them use social media. Therefore, 20 percent of their promotional budget is on digital marketing.
He added that if the revenue social media giants gain from Sri Lanka is insignificant, they may consider leaving the country instead of complying with the provisions of the online safety act.
Sumanasiri said that more jobs will become obsolete as the digital marketing industry would reduce their marketing budget for digital and social media promotion, reducing the demand for content creators, while impacting the country’s ability to earn foreign currency as many online and social media businesses receive money through foreign clientele.
If influencers will not get money – or insignificant amounts – they would think it was better to get out of the market, he said. (Colombo/Feb6/2024)