France regulates influencer marketing on social media with new bill

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3rd June 2023 – (Hong Kong) On Friday, local French media reported that the French National Assembly and the French Senate had adopted a bill to regulate influencer marketing on social media. The bill aims to protect internet users from excessive information and regulate the activities of content creators. The law prohibits influencers from promoting adulterated products or conducting scams or fraud on social media.

The bill obligates influencers to label content paid by brands when creating content to encourage their audience to purchase their products or services. It also requires that partnerships between influencers and brands should be clear and visible, making commercial activities more transparent. The law aims to regulate the practices of the influencers’ agents and advertisers as well.

Failure to abide by the law will face up to two years in prison and a penalty of up to 300,000 euros (321,767.58 U.S. dollars). The bill’s sponsors, Authur Delaporte and Stephane Vojetta, believe that the law protects internet users from excessive information observed online and regulates the activities of content creators.

According to the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, there are approximately 150,000 influencers online generating French content. Olivia Gregoire, the minister delegate for small and medium enterprises, has welcomed the establishment of a “clear framework.” She stated that influencers can now do their work in a legal frame, and French internet users are protected against abuse from online commerce.

The new bill aims to create a fair and transparent environment for social media influencers and their audiences. The transparency requirement will help prevent influencer marketing scams and fraudulent behaviour, ensuring that consumers can trust the products and services promoted by influencers. The bill also promotes fair competition in the industry and helps to protect consumers from deceptive marketing practices.

The regulation of influencer marketing is a growing trend worldwide. Other countries have also implemented similar laws to regulate influencer marketing and protect consumers. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States requires influencers to disclose sponsored content clearly. In the United Kingdom, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) enforces similar regulations.