Law Regulating Influencers: Soon The End Of Dubious Advertisements.

The time when influencers could do all the advertisements they wanted on social media is soon coming to an end. A proposed law aimed at combating scams and abuses by influencers on social media has been debated since Tuesday in the National Assembly. We explain what this law should change.

Influencer, a profession soon to be better regulated.

The bill proposed by Socialist MP Arthur Delaporte and Renaissance MP Stéphane Vojetta may not revolutionize the practices of influencers on social media, but it should at least better regulate them.

On March 24, 2023, Bruno Le Maire unveiled a code of conduct, the result of several months of work and citizen consultation, aimed at better regulating the lucrative but not always transparent business of influencers...

The minister then declared "The Net is not the Wild West", expressing the authorities' desire to bring order to this sector where unscrupulous professionals have already been denounced for questionable advertisements, disguised partnerships, and even suspicions of scams.

The creation of a legal status.

The proposed law currently being debated in the National Assembly begins by defining the role of influencers and establishing a legal framework for their profession. Article 2 defines an influencer as "any natural or legal person whose activity consists, for remuneration, of representing or connecting natural or legal persons [...] for the purpose of promoting goods, services or any cause by means of electronic communication." According to this definition, any content creator who receives financial or in-kind compensation for promoting a brand becomes an influencer.

This article of the law also requires influencers to sign a written contract with the advertiser and to designate a representative in France, even if they do not operate on French territory. This measure aims to better control people who engage in this activity, as many influencers have moved to Dubai to take advantage of the absence of income tax.

In addition, influencers under the age of 16 will now have to obtain prior approval from the state services to be employed in a company specializing in commercial influence. They will immediately receive only 10% of the revenue, with the remainder being held until they reach majority.

Young influencers between the ages of 16 and 18 will have the choice of either creating and managing an individual enterprise or being employed by a company engaged in commercial influence through a work contract signed by their parents.

Better regulation of advertising and product placements.

With this proposed law, the advertising practices of influencers are also in the sights of the authorities. Currently, any content creator is required to include the mention "paid partnership" when promoting a brand, product or service for payment.

The proposed law reminds us that the rules of traditional advertising also apply to influencers when it comes to promoting alcohol, tobacco, financial products, sports betting and certain medical devices. Therefore, any video promoting an alcoholic beverage must be accompanied by an information banner reminding viewers of the dangers of alcohol.

But the text goes further by proposing to ban the promotion of cosmetic surgery and certain financial assets. Advertisements for cosmetic surgery procedures such as Botox injections or hair transplants had become commonplace on social media under the influence of reality TV personalities, but this practice should soon come to an end.

This proposal also seeks to ban other types of advertisements: those for counterfeit or illicit products and those for high-risk investments or placements.

The obligation to indicate the use of retouching filters.

To better protect internet users, this proposed law tackles another harmful practice: the use of filters and retouching to improve one's appearance. These practices have devastating psychological effects on younger internet users and their self-esteem, so influencers will now be required to indicate if they have used a filter or retouching when publishing content. This mandatory disclosure of retouching already exists in the advertising and modeling industry, appearing for example in women's magazines.

The creation of a specialized team of investigators.

Bruno Le Maire also announced the creation of a team of 15 investigators within the DGCCRF. This specialized brigade will be responsible for monitoring social networks and imposing sanctions in case of non-compliance. It will be able to close the accounts of unscrupulous influencers and refer the matter to the justice system if necessary. In case of hidden advertising, influencers risk heavier penalties up to 2 years imprisonment and a fine of €300,000.

A protocol of reciprocal commitments should soon be signed between these supervisory authorities and platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. The authorities are asking platforms to implement easily accessible and user-friendly reporting tools to allow Internet users to report abuses.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Makerandmoxie
Tags: influencers, LAW, advertising, social media, retouching, Internet, content creator, filters, brand, Bruno Le Maire, National Assembly, cosmetic surgery, MP, influencer, alcohol, counterfeit, reality TV, hair transplants, tackles, botox, psychological, Instagram, TikTok, reciprocal, protocol, penalties, sanctions, social networks, dgccrf, filter, self-esteem, alcoholic beverage, medical devices, sports betting, legal persons, remuneration, legal person, Arthur, Wild West, The Net, code, Renaissance, goods, electronic communication, article, tobacco, Young, revenue, income tax, Dubai,
In French: Loi encadrant les influenceurs : bientôt la fin des publicités douteuses
En español: Ley que regula a los influencers: pronto el fin de publicidades dudosas.
In italiano: Legge che regolamenta gli influencer: presto la fine delle pubblicità dubbie.
Auf Deutsch: Gesetz zur Regulierung von Influencern: bald das Ende fragwürdiger Werbung.
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