New French Law Regulates Social Media Influencers: Obligations, Risks, and Essential Information

On March 30th, the French National Assembly adopted a proposal aimed at combating scams and abuses by social media influencers. The law introduces new obligations and restrictions to ensure a more ethical and transparent online presence. This article will break down the key aspects of this new legislation and its impact on influencers.


  • Definition of a commercial influencer: The law defines a commercial influencer as an individual or entity who leverages their popularity to promote goods, services, or causes through electronic means, in exchange for financial compensation or other benefits above a certain threshold set by decree.


  • Update to the “Child Influencers” law: An amendment expands the existing “Child Influencers” law from October 19, 2020, to cover all online platforms, not just video sharing platforms. This further protects minors from exploitation.


  • Applicability of advertising regulations: The law clarifies that existing regulations related to advertising and promotional activities, as well as specific restrictions or prohibitions, apply to commercial influencers.


  • Restrictions on influencer promotions: Influencers are now prohibited from advertising surgical procedures, financial products and services, and counterfeit goods. Additionally, they must display an informative banner throughout promotions for gambling or video games with gambling-like features. Non-compliance can result in a two-year prison sentence, a €30,000 fine, and a ban on commercial influencing activities.


  • Enhanced transparency for promotional content: Influencers must clearly, legibly, and identifiably display promotional content. Specific requirements apply to professional training advertisements, sugary drinks, and manufactured food products. Furthermore, hosting service providers must enable users to report content they believe has been altered through image processing.


  • “Dropshipping” regulations: During dropshipping operations, influencers and their agents must verify product availability and compliance with European standards.


  • Definition and responsibilities of influencer agents: The law defines an influencer agent and obliges them to take necessary measures to protect their clients’ interests.


  • Contractual requirements: Contracts between influencers, agents, and advertisers must be in writing and include specific clauses related to identity, mission, compensation, and French law. Non-compliance can result in contract nullification.


  • Legal representation for non-EU influencers: Influencers based outside the European Union must designate a legal representative within the EU and maintain insurance coverage for their activities.


  • Platform operators’ obligations: Online platforms must establish mechanisms to report and remove illegal content, and publish annual reports on their moderation activities. Trusted reporters are prioritized.


  • Combating fraudulent advertising: Platform operators must provide relevant authorities with information to help fight the spread of false and misleading advertisements.

  • Digital literacy and education: The law mandates digital literacy education that includes awareness of online manipulation, scams, and misinformation.


  1. Creation of a “Responsible Influencer Relations” label: A new label called “Responsible Influencer Relations” has been introduced, with its content to be determined by a decree. This label will serve as a way to recognize and promote influencers who adhere to the law and maintain ethical and transparent practices in their online activities.


  1. Importance of understanding the new legislation: It is crucial for influencers, agents, and advertisers to familiarize themselves with the new law and its requirements. Adhering to these regulations will help maintain a trustworthy online presence, protect vulnerable users such as minors, and foster a more responsible social media environment.


  1. Implications for advertisers and brands: Brands and advertisers working with influencers must also comply with the new legislation. They should ensure that their partnerships with influencers align with the law and that the contractual agreements meet the specified requirements.


  1. Potential for international impact: While the new French law directly affects influencers and advertisers operating in France, its impact may extend beyond the country’s borders. Influencers and brands around the world should be aware of these developments and consider how similar regulations might be implemented in their jurisdictions.


In conclusion, the newly adopted French law aims to create a safer and more transparent online environment by regulating the activities of social media influencers. It imposes various obligations and restrictions on influencers, agents, and advertisers to ensure ethical practices and protect consumers from potential scams and abuses.


To avoid legal repercussions and maintain a positive online presence, influencers and all related parties must familiarize themselves with these new regulations and adhere to them in their online activities.


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