The law aimed at regulating commercial influence and combating the excesses of influencers has truly shaken up the French ecosystem. More than eight months after its promulgation, the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly chose to draw up an initial assessment of its practical implementation. “It is thanks to French users who are attentive to abuses and to Bercy’s services that the law will be well respected,” said MP (Renaissance) Stéphane Vojetta this Wednesday. “Regardless of their income and wherever they are, influencers must respect the law when they address a French audience,” he added.

First consequence of the law, the General Directorate for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression (DGCCRF) indulged in more controls: 212 influencers were inspected by the armed wing of the Ministry of the Economy in 2023, compared to 94 a year earlier. Among them, 96% were in an anomaly situation.

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“The general public may have the impression that influencers have not yet been convicted, but in reality it takes time once an investigation has been launched by the DGCCRF before possible prosecutions,” said MP Arthur Delaporte, co-rapporteur of the text. Thirty-nine people from the DGCCRF are mobilized on these subjects. Open surveys exclude influencer abuses linked to the tax aspect. “The services of the General Directorate of Public Finances (Dgfip) were not able to provide us with detailed figures on this tax aspect,” he specifies.

For their part, French citizens have also increased their reporting of misleading practices on the SignalConso platform. The new law which regulates the practices of influencers in the country has signaled the end of the golden age of a well-established product placement system, whose financial flaws and vices will have taken a few years to be revealed to the public. day.

It has largely contributed to cleaning up the market. “47% of influencers believe that the obligation of transparency on commercial intention has had an effect on their activity, with an explosion in the use of the mention ‘commercial collaboration’ in their publication,” adds MP Louise Morel ( Modem). Most major advertisers now require that the influencers with whom they collaborate have passed the responsible influence certificate from the Advertising Professional Regulation Authority (ARPP).

Despite a rather positive initial assessment, the Commission notes some points for improvement, which could be clarified by order. In recent months, for example, she has observed some of the deceptive practices being transferred to private messaging services like Telegram. “We are considering whether content that is present on open channels can come under the law,” explains Stéphane Vojetta.

Another abuse noted is “live matches” on TikTok: content creators can receive “virtual gifts” on the Chinese application, taking the form of roses, donuts, rugby balls, lions or even universes. , which visually animate the screen during a live broadcast. It is then possible to exchange them for real money, ranging from 1 cent each to 800 euros, depending on the symbols… “These matches, often viewed by minors, could be characterized as being part of a commercial logic, this which would then include them within the framework of the influencer law,” clarified Arthur Delaporte, who notes that these abuses can sometimes give rise to money laundering

Finally, some modifications should be made in the coming months to meet the demands of European regulators. “The influencer law is not in danger, it must be modified marginally in order to be in compliance with the European e-commerce guidelines and the country of origin rule,” says Arthur Delaporte. Articles of the law which otherwise duplicate the Digital Services Act (DSA) will also be removed from the text.

The French initiative has also inspired several neighboring countries over the months. Italy and Spain, for example, are working on legal texts to regulate the commercial influence environment. A text at the level of the European Union is even being considered by the Belgian Presidency of the Council.