The National Assembly, the lower chamber of the French parliament, has passed a cross-party bill aimed at introducing new requirements for social media influencers.
This is a preliminary vote because the bill will be sent to the Senate, but it will likely be adopted within a few weeks because all 49 deputies present at the National Assembly voted in favour of the bill.
This bill has been in the works for some time, with Aurélien Taché, a deputy from the French Green Party, submitting a draught law in November 2022.
Many influencers, he claims, promote scams because there are no negative consequences.
The French government then began to investigate the issue, with the Ministry of Economy holding a public consultation to better understand the stakes.
As a result, Friday’s bill defines what a paid influencer is. It is someone who uses their reputation to promote a product or service in exchange for money or a benefit-in-kind.
Influencers who meet these criteria will be subject to new regulations.
Influencers will be required to disclose if they are using a filter or if their face and/or body have been photoshopped, which will have a significant impact on their content.
The French parliament does not want to punish influencers because of these constraints.
It wishes to safeguard social media users against mental health issues such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and depression.
The bill then specifies what an influencer cannot do.
Influencers will be unable to promote cosmetic surgery, financial products and services (including cryptocurrencies), or counterfeit goods if the bill is passed.
Influencers can still promote products and services in some cases, but they must include an informational banner about the risks involved.
This new prohibition applies to gambling and gambling services. If they are promoting a training programme, they must identify the training company that is behind it.
Influencers will also need to be more forthcoming when it comes to dropshipping products.
When influencers accept a paid promotion, they must clearly state that it is a paid promotion.
However, if they fail to meet these requirements, they will go to jail for six months and pay a fine of €300,000.