This weekend, 150 content creators called on French deputies not to “consider them an object of combat”: “do not break the virtuous model that we are building in the four corners of France with and for the French”, they implored in the Sunday newspaper. Some said then that they had not read this forum before signing it and others regretted putting their name on it. This forum arises in a particular context: the sector of influence is the subject of a text that could change the way in which some practice their profession.
As of this Tuesday, the National Assembly is examining a bill aimed at “fighting scams and excesses of influencers on social networks”, promoted by deputies Stéphane Vojetta and Arthur Delaporte, respectively Renaissance and Socialist – Nupes. Work on this text began several months ago, in a context of criticism of this sector and controversy over influencers accused of promoting scams, among others. They have been complemented by the consultations carried out by the Ministry of Economy since December.
With this text, Arthur Delaporte wants to “protect the consumer, his health and his pocket” but also “clarify the rights and duties of influencers and reestablish a bond of trust”. “
A definition of the profession of influencer
Certain provisions of this bill already existed: remember, for example, that influencers have the obligation to clearly mention the paid associations they carry out and that they cannot advertise fakes.
It also creates a definition of influencer: in the version of the text prior to its passage through the chamber, it is about people “who mobilize their notoriety to communicate to the public by electronic means content intended to promote, directly or indirectly, goods, services or any cause in exchange for an economic benefit or in kind”.
The text “has the merit of clarifying the regime that should be applied to influencers but also to their agents and advertisers who use them,” believes lawyer Raphaël Molina from Tech&Co.
The creator of humorous content Fatou Guinea abounds: “the law adds credibility to our profession, shows that it is a real job, that there are many people behind us.”
Cosmetic surgery advertising is prohibited
The text creates a ban for an influencer to promote cosmetic surgery. It strictly regulates advertising related to financial products and services and associations in the alcohol sector, specifying that the rules provided for by the Evin law apply to influencers.
Influencers who are established outside the European Union will have to designate a legal representative who will be “subject to French law for everything related to commercial influence activities” directed at the French population, an “effective way to constrain them to the law French”, approves Rafael Molina.
The bill defines obligations for platforms, such as implementing the necessary means to remove content flagged by the authorities and giving priority to alerts from “trusted flaggers”, consumer or victim associations. influence, according to Bercy.
The State will also have its share of responsibility: according to the current terms of the bill, it must carry out operations in schools to raise awareness about the excesses of influencers and present a report within six months of the enactment of the law. about the means of the DGCCRF to fight against scams promoted by influencers.
Bruno Le Maire seems to have taken the lead on this point: he announced on Friday that 15 DGCCRF agents will form a “commercial influence brigade” there “in the coming weeks” to control and possibly sanction creators. There will be 15 new positions, which will be added to the existing staff of this service of the Ministry of Economy in charge of the repression of fraud, the ministry informed Tech&Co.
A good start”
All the actors in the sector interviewed by Tech&Co welcome the changes proposed by the deputies and the ministry. Umicc, a federation of influencers and agencies, believes that these “show real listening” to the community and can “protect consumers while allowing the development of the sector.” Raphaël Molina sees it as “a good start” and an “interesting law”.
“It’s very positive,” adds Audrey Chippaux, who keeps the Instagram account alert about the excesses of reality show candidates Your stars in reality. She considers that certain provisions are “very precise and go in the direction of consumer protection.”
Fatou Guinea also considers it “essential” to regulate this sector. However, he signed the column published in the JDD and explains to Tech&Co that he had “difficulty admitting that we are confused with what have been called ‘influvoleurs'”, while saying that he is careful “not to promote alcohol or cosmetic surgery”.
A law not timeless enough?
However, several points remain unresolved: the bill provides for a mention of “retouched images” for all paid content from influencers that has undergone “image processing”. A “too broad” definition that would risk “add rules to rules” and make everything “inaudible”, according to Umicc. This federation of influencers says that it is more favorable to what Bruno Le Maire mentioned on Friday: the mention of retouching or filters in the case of placements of “aesthetic products”.
For his part, the lawyer Raphaël Molina regrets that “it lacks provisions on intellectual property: there is a real vagueness about what belongs or does not belong to an influencer.” He says that he faces cases of “content theft”, in which “brands seize content from influencers without asking their consent for advertising”.
A problem that “goes beyond” influencers
Audrey Chippaux, for her part, believes that a prevention section is missing: it would be good for her, for example, that social media accounts like hers, which warn of certain excesses and scams, be proposed by platforms to inform their users. .
He also ensures that the problem “goes far beyond influencers.” “The influencer is just a communication vector that has brought to light all our dysfunctions in e-commerce that we will have to look at seriously,” he explains to Tech & Co. And to add mischievously: “thanks to the influencers for finally showing us all this”.
Source: BFM TV