France is getting serious about its influencer marketing laws. Recent legislation imposes hefty fines and the possibility of imprisonment for up to two years on online content creators who promote dangerous services or engage in misleading commercial practices.

This is in response to a surge of fraudulent activities on the internet involving influencers, who have convinced their followers to spend money on fake or questionable products, and sometimes even scam cancer cures.

In 2021, a government agency gave a €20,000 fine to reality TV star and French influencer, Nabilla Benattia-Vergara, who boasts 9 million followers on Instagram and 3.6 million subscribers on Snapchat, due to an undisclosed Bitcoin advertisement.

She was criticised for promoting Bitcoin to millions of her loyal Snapchat followers without clearly disclosing that she was being paid for the advertisement. This is something that the French government is getting strict on, with new regulations for influencers who fail to label #Ad could land in prison alongside a large €300,000 fine.

A new beginning

There are an estimated 150,000 influencers in France in 2023, but the actions of some of them have put influencer marketing in line with increasing criticism.

In one specific recent case, more than 100 individuals claimed to be victims in a collective legal action, accusing French social media influencers of intentionally guiding them towards financial losses on trading and NFT platforms.

France has decided it’s now clamp down time, as it has begun to fuel the fight against influencer scams. Earlier this year, the French parliament passed a bill imposing new requirements on social media influencers to bolster transparency and safeguard consumers.

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