influencer marketing in france

Law passed to regulate influencer marketing in France

Influencer marketing has boomed in recent years. Fuelled by the explosive rise of platforms like TikTok and established but still growing channels like Instagram and Meta. Content creators and influencers have become one of the most useful tools in an affiliate marketer’s traffic driving arsenal. However, earlier this month, authorities in France approved a law designed to clamp down on influencer marketing in which they perceive to be an unregulated, issue-laden landscape.

Transparency of promotional offers and customer facing information displayed by brands – is at the core of this new law. Social platform content curators will now have to clearly state whether their content or social posts are sponsored or part of a paid for campaign following suit on the already implemented US ad guidelines dictated for affiliate partners. The law stipulates that influencers must disclose this information at the beginning of a post, informing viewers of the nature of the content to prevent them from being affected by covert or misleading marketing tactics.

The legislation is also bringing about a number of other changes. Influencers will now be prohibited from promoting activities that could be potentially harmful. This includes things like cosmetic surgeries and procedures, sports betting, and cryptocurrency investing.

In addition, images that have been edited and filtered must now be labelled as such.

The new law also works to bring influencer marketing in France in line with the country’s standard advertising regulations. Influencers that promote unhealthy foods, for example, must now also deliver a fitness reminder message like those seen in traditional French advertising.

This is a significant shift in attitude towards influencer marketing and demonstrates the French government’s willingness to protect consumers. The incoming US INFORM Consumers Act is in a similar vein, designed to crack down on unscrupulous online merchants in an effort to safeguard consumers.

The new French legislation is one of the first large-scale influencer marketing regulatory clampdowns we’ve seen, and it’s likely that other countries will soon follow suit.

What will this mean for affiliate marketers? Influencer marketing and affiliate marketing are inextricably linked, and influencers make up a huge segment of the partners being managed in affiliate programs. What this new law means is that program managers dealing with influencers based in France will have to ensure all partners are aware of and prepared to follow these new guidelines.

Given that breaking this new law can incur a fine of up to €300,000 ($329,406) and even up to two years in prison, it’s absolutely vital that program managers guarantee that their influencers are compliant.

To ensure these new regulations are adhered to, affiliate managers will have to review and update their programs’ terms to include these new standards, while content creators may require specific guidelines detailing what they can and cannot do under the new law.

However, rather than viewing this development as a negative, marketers should instead look at it positively and welcome regulation that will do more to protect consumers and further legitimize and standardize influencer marketing.

The law could be significant for the industry moving forward, and more regulation means we may see further opportunities for micro and nano influencers to monetise their content production and communities in a regulated fashion connecting brands access to smaller specialised niche customer segments.

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