“We’re talking about quality”… Thanks to a poisoned product, videographer Simon Puech traps unscrupulous influencers

The video has been viewed more than 397,000 times since its publication this Wednesday. A deserved audience for the latest video from Simon Puech, videographer followed by 662,000 subscribers. Indeed, his investigation says a lot about the world of influence, sometimes presented as better regulated today. However, in the old digital Wild West, the new regulations do not seem to be applied to the letter…

As the videographer reminds us at the start of his video, in the summer of 2023, a law to regulate the world of influence was voted unanimously in parliament and will structure the environment where scams, dropshipping and non-transparent collaborations are legion. Are these practices ancient history? This is what Simon Puech tried to verify in his investigation.

“A combat gas”

For this, the videographer and his co-author decided to create a poisoned product “ultra-dangerous if it really existed” and to promote it to influencers through product placements. The product in question: soman, “a derivative of methane-phosphonic acid recommended as a combat gas”, according to the Larousse website. And to make it look nice, the poison is immersed in a product that everyone is snapping up in the world of influence, food supplements, under the name of BioZin2. Biozin promises to solve all the problems: energy, concentration and performance.

That’s the brief. All that remains is to package it all into a beautiful site that traces the history of the brand with false storytelling. The company was founded in the last century by doctors and is located on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Let’s also add a little complicity from content creators who will allow a better showcase on the site.

Not an ounce of distrust

Against all odds, the search for partnerships was a success. Among the 70 influencers selected and the dozens of emails sent, not a single refusal, assures Simon Puech in his video. The promotional videos are unanimous: “My favorite of the moment”, “you all need it”, “it meets all the standards”, “there is no danger”. Soman is even touted as muscle strengthening and a boon for hair.

Influence agencies, too, are plunging. “I will give you several talents,” promises one of the agents, normally accustomed in their profession to checking the quality of products. “These are laboratories that have worked on it, there is a question of trust. These are products that we know,” adds another. Really ?

“Your arguments and promises must be true and verifiable”

Through this video, everything suggests that certain influencers know very little about the products they promote. The soman, clearly indicated on the bottle, can be quickly found on the Internet in just two or three clicks. The first sites all mention it as a toxic agent. “Sodium chloride” is also touted for its benefits for muscles or hair… being nothing other than the scientific term for salt.

The company’s coverage is not further verified. If Simon Puech created a site, there is no social network for the company, which is suspicious. If you write “Biozin2” on a search engine, you find more of a product that “promotes the health of your horse’s hooves”. The videos of the complicit creators are only available on the site and not on their personal accounts on Instagram. Last red flag, the product is not available for order and is reported as “out of stock”. Yet, among the answers, none actually asks about composition. Neither among influencers, nor among agents. Others even invent benefits and new properties never stated among the indications sent by the false company.

However, in the Guide to good conduct for influencers and content creators published in June 2023 by the Ministry of the Economy, we read: “the law requires you to ensure that the product you are advertising is not fictitious”. And adds: “Your arguments and promises must be true and verifiable. Marketing communications that are based on claims that are false or that you cannot substantiate also constitute deceptive marketing practices.”

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