How to better regulate this new profession that is that of influencer, avoiding online scams and better protecting consumers?
A month after having received representatives of this booming sector in Bercy – there are around 150,000 influencers to date in France – the government announced, this Sunday, January 8, the opening of a public consultation until 'at the end of the month.
The idea is to develop a code of good conduct, and to put an end to certain dubious, even illegal practices: clothing or products promoted on Instagram or Snapchat, without the "content creator" being transparent on the link that binds him to such and such a brand, promotion of illegal medical practices, or scams in the personal training account.
The challenge is all the more important as “millions of you consult the opinions of influencers, their recommendations in the field of fashion, sport, beauty, travel.
These influencers play a role in our daily lives, and this gives them a special responsibility, ”said the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, in December, during this vast round table.
“Of course, the vast majority of them respect the rules.
But there are also certain scams or sometimes simply certain oversights.
We forget to say that we were paid to recommend such a product, such a site or such a trip, ”he detailed in a video published on the consultation site.
“It is these discrepancies, these shortcomings, sometimes these cheatings that we want to correct with the regulation of this sector”.
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Accessible until January 31 on concertation-influenceurs.make.org, this consultation "will allow all French people who wish to express themselves on 11 measures divided into four themes": the rights and obligations of influencers, intellectual property, consumer protection and sector governance.
The establishment of a framework should be completed by mid-March.
In what forms?
“We have no preconceived idea, ensured Bercy last month.
Regulatory, legislative or self-regulation, everything is open.
Unsurprisingly, representatives of the sector plead for self-regulation, and plan to create a professional federation, which would grant a kind of label to its members.
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Regularly, scams swarm on the accounts of known influencers.
They are rarely sanctioned, and often with delay.
In 2021, the influencer Nabilla had thus been sentenced to pay a fine of 20,000 euros for having promoted a bitcoin service, wrongly assuring that it was a safe bet, and without mentioning that she was paid for it.
As for the "popess" of influencers, Magali Berdah, her powerful agency Shauna Events - who did not wish to participate in the December round table -, is targeted by rapper Booba and his fans, who reproach him - with virulence - its deceptive marketing practices (an investigation was opened in September 2022).
In June 2022, following a complaint from Magali Berdah this time, another investigation was opened at the National Pole for the Fight against Online Hate (PLNH) of the Paris Court of Justice.
A total of 11 men and one woman will be tried in 2023 in Paris for suspicion of "cyberharassment" towards her.