The government wants to speed up the legal framework surrounding influencers

End of holiday for influencers in France? Between controversial claims and questionable publicity, some of France’s 150,000 content creators regularly come under fire from critics, in particular because of their young audience.

To remedy this, the government is preparing a new legislative framework and on Sunday, January 8, opened an online consultation with the public on a number of 11 measures already developed with regulators, consumer associations and industry players.

Maintain the right path

“These public consultations, based on the logic of cooperation with various players in this sector, should allow us to move forward on the issue of determining the rights and obligations of powerful people, as well as consumer protection,” the Minister of Economy said. Bruno Le Maire, recognizing the “opportunity for personal and professional development” in this sector.

“My role as Minister of Economy and Consumer Affairs is to properly support them without imposing disproportionate obligations on the sector,” he added.

This call for participation, open until the end of the month, is divided into four main sections: rights and responsibilities of influencers, intellectual property, consumer protection and sector governance.

In particular, we find a proposal regarding the very definition of the profession of an influencer, the scope of products and services that he might be entitled to promote, or even the contractual obligations that bind him to agencies and brands. Other measures, such as those aimed at establishing a professional federation to help influencers organize themselves collectively or make online platforms more accountable in the face of observed bad practices, are also under consideration.

MPs don’t want to wait

For its part, the National Assembly is losing patience. Thus, in November and then in December, two bills were introduced establishing a legal framework that is considered deficient and a system of obligations and prohibitions. “Some materials clearly demonstrate their commercial intent by promoting discount codes negotiated by the relevant influencer, while others deliberately hide their marketing intent to the detriment of end consumers who are unaware of the promotional nature of the message. ”, — stated in the explanatory note carried by the recalcitrant France.

On the other hand, at the European level, things have already begun to move with the registration in the Official Journal of the EU at the end of October of the Digital Services Act (DSA), leading to its gradual entry into force.

Article 26 provides, in particular, that online platforms must provide “functionality that allows them to declare whether the content they provide is or contains a commercial message.” End users who may encounter this publication should be able to “clearly, unambiguously and in real time know, including through clearly visible markings.” […] that the content provided by the recipient of the service” is a sponsored publication.

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