The regulation of influencers in France is under discussion with a bill aimed at combating abuse in this sector and better regulating the activities of content creators on social networks. This regulation aims to protect consumers and make influencers accountable for their commercial practices. However, the reaction of influencers to this law raises debates on the need for regulation and its impact on the sector in general. Some influencers have been involved in scandals related to questionable practices, such as the sale of fraudulent or dangerous products, dropshipping, the sale of counterfeits, etc. These incidents have led the French government to act and to propose measures to regulate and punish such behavior. A bill is currently under study and provides for the creation of a legal status for influencers, the supervision of advertising for certain products, the limitation of commercial influence on products and services related to cryptocurrency, the indication of retouched images, and awareness campaigns in schools. The public consultation allowed Internet users to give their opinion on these measures. Some influencers have reacted to this bill, expressing concerns about the impact on their business and revenue. A forum published by the Union of Professions of Influence and Content Creators (UMICC) and signed by 150 content creators called on elected officials not to "break their model" because of "minority excesses" . However, this platform has been criticized and some signatories have retracted or expressed their disagreement. The UMICC finally declared to support the law and regretted the negative reactions aroused by the platform. The debate over influencer regulation continues to spark discussions about the need to protect consumers and empower influencers while preserving free speech and the business model of content creators.
The context of influencer regulation
The French influencer sector is booming, with content creators fearing for their businesses and their income. The National Assembly is currently examining a bill aimed at combating scams and abuses by influencers on social networks. This bill comes in a context of growth in the sector, significant impact on adolescents, and numerous complaints of scams against certain "gurus".
A business that requires regulation
Influencers, often called "content creators", have a real community on social networks and have a significant impact on the purchasing decisions of their followers. They are compensated through partnerships with brands that pay them to promote their products or services. However, some influencers have abused these partnerships, selling fraudulent or dangerous products, hence the need for legislation to regulate their activities.
The issues raised by influencers
Several scandals and controversies have erupted on the Internet due to the questionable practices of certain influencers. These practices include dropshipping, selling counterfeits, disguised subscriptions, and fraudulent trading and cryptocurrency advice. To fight against these abuses, the French government has decided to legislate on the issue.
A public consultation to regulate abuse
Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economy and Finance, organized a public consultation to allow Internet users to give their opinion on eleven measures aimed at protecting consumers, regulating the sector, and punishing influencers who break the rules. The purpose of this regulation is to establish a code of good conduct and to make influencers accountable for their commercial practices.
The law for influencers: frame, protect, empower and punish
The text of the law under study plans in particular to create a legal status for the profession of influencer and to empower and protect young influencers. It also plans to regulate advertising for certain products and limit commercial influence on cryptocurrency-related products and services. In addition, the law provides that the retouched content is accompanied by the mention “Retouched images” and that the State carries out operations to raise awareness of the excesses of influencers in schools.
The reaction of influencers to the law
In response to this legislative project, the Union of Professions of Influence and Content Creators (UMICC) published a forum signed by 150 content creators, calling on elected officials not to "break their model" because of " excesses of a minority”. However, this forum provoked a wave of negative reactions, with some signatories withdrawing or disassociating themselves from the forum. Some of them even claim that they had not read the forum before signing it. Faced with the controversy, the UMICC declared to support the law and regret that the platform was badly perceived.
In conclusion, the regulation of influencers in France is under discussion with a bill aimed at combating abuse in this sector and better regulating the activities of content creators on social networks. This regulation aims to protect consumers and make influencers accountable for their commercial practices. However, the reaction of influencers to this law raises debates on the need for regulation and its impact on the sector in general.