Internet influencers: the government wants a code of good conduct

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While it intends to regulate the activity of social network stars, who promote brands to their audience under conditions that are not always very clear, the government has announced the opening of a public consultation…

( — While controversies follow one another in the world of influence marketing, the public authorities wish to regulate the activity of stars of social networks, who promote brands to their audience in conditions that are not always very clear, and regulate a sector that is attracting more and more advertisers. After having organized a round table in Bercy last November, the government has announced the opening of a public consultation to define “a code of good conduct”.

In a video published on social networks on Sunday, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, called for “maximum” participation in the consultation “to better support and supervise influencers”. “I need you”, he launched, specifying that the creators of content on the Internet, “better known as influencers” are “150,000”.

“Millions of you consult their opinions, their recommendations in the field of fashion, sport, beauty, travel. They therefore play a role in our daily lives. This gives them a special responsibility”, also estimated the tenant of Bercy…

Protecting consumers and supporting influencers

If he affirms that “among all these influencers, the vast majority of them obviously respect the rules”, the minister wanted to warn that there are also “certain scams or sometimes quite simply certain oversights”. “We forget to say that we were paid to recommend such a product, such a site or such a trip,” he added. In the context of a product donation or paid collaboration, the rule is simple: influencers must clearly mention their partnerships to their community.

“It is these discrepancies, these shortcomings, sometimes this cheating, that we want to correct with the regulation of this sector”, explained Bruno Le Maire, stressing that the objective is to “protect consumers” above all. “It is then to support the influencers who are responsible,” he added.

According to the Minister of the Economy, it will be necessary to agree “on a certain number of rules, behaviors”, to build with the influencers “a code of good conduct”. Accessible until January 31, the public consultation “will allow all French people who wish to express themselves on 11 measures divided into four themes”, he explained.

A “new form of worker”

A bill aimed at combating the excesses of influencers on social networks was already tabled at the end of December by the two Socialist deputies, Arthur Delaporte and Boris Vallaud. The text intends to regulate the activity of influencers, who constitute a “new form of worker” on social networks, while “the share of entertainment whose objective is to follow the daily life of hitherto anonymous candidates has increased considerably” , since “the appearance of reality TV in the 2000s and the broadcast of ‘Loft Story’ then ‘Star Academy'”.

In particular, they propose to prohibit the promotion of “financial investments and digital assets involving risks of loss for the consumer” by influencers. The proposal will be examined in early February by the National Assembly.

As a reminder, in July 2021, Nabilla Benattia-Vergara was fined 20,000 euros after being pinned for “misleading commercial practices by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF). The influencer had promoted financial services on Snapchat without mentioning that she was paid for it…

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Internet influencers: the government wants a code of good conduct

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