They agree to put an end to the “law of the jungle”. MEPs unanimously adopted a cross-partisan text on Thursday to regulate the controversial business practices of influencers on social networks. At the end of an unusually consensual session in this period of tension around pension reform, the 49 deputies present all voted, at first reading, in favor of better regulation of influencers.
Some are real stars, able to influence the consumption behavior of millions or even tens of millions of subscribers, while others have a much more modest audience. But all have been caught up in controversies in recent months. Non-explicit paid partnerships, tax exile or accusations of scams, the pressure is mounting to regulate the market, while the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) has published a damning study.
Promotion of cosmetic surgery now banned
Meta (Facebook, Instagram) also deleted a series of accounts with millions of subscribers, including those of the Blata couple, targeted by a collective action for a vast alleged scam. In addition to giving a legal definition to influencers, the text, supported by Bercy and the Minister of SMEs Olivia Grégoire, will prohibit certain practices, mainly the promotion of cosmetic surgery.
In the event of a breach, offenders will incur up to six months in prison and a fine of 300,000 euros. At the origin of the bill, the deputy Arthur Delaporte (PS) pleaded for a stricter ban encompassing medical devices and food supplements, castigating the “miracle pills” presented as substitutes “for chemotherapy”. He got a reminder: influencers are not allowed to promote spurious remedies, which would endanger the health of subscribers.
The promotions of certain risky financial investments, particularly in the field of digital or cryptocurrencies, will be more strictly regulated. If the atmosphere was one of co-construction, socialists and rebels failed to formally ban the promotion of gambling, the cornerstone of the business of certain influencers. The text must now be examined in the Senate.