Influencers: the government wants to regulate their activities on social networks

Influencers the government wants to regulate their activities on social

  • News
  • Published on

    Reading 3 mins.

    in collaboration with

    Dr Gérald Kierzek (Medical Director of Doctissimo)

    On Friday March 24, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire announced a bill governing the activities of influencers on social networks. On the program: more than ten measures which must pass before the National Assembly tomorrow.

    Prohibiting the promotion of acts of medicine or cosmetic surgery, mentioning the use of filters or retouching, creating a commercial influence brigade… The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, spoke in depth about the proposal to law that will govern the profession of influencer on social networks, if adopted.

    Better regulate the profession of influencer

    We told you about the excesses of young people concerning surgery or aesthetic medicine a few weeks ago in the article devoted to the release of the book by journalists Elsa Mari and Ariane Riou. Their survey “Scalpel Generation, investigation into the ravages of cosmetic surgery among young people” highlighted the excesses of certain influencers who promoted medical procedures without any rules, with all the consequences that this can have.

    In November 2022, an influencer, former reality TV candidate, was promoting capsules to “cure cancer”. The authors then called on the government to react to regulate these practices.

    An opinion shared by Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency doctor and medical director of Doctissimo: “Influencers, whether medical or not, must respect the code of ethics and not advertise, especially for drugs, we have seen what happened with theOzempic ! There is a problem with legislation, and we are faced with a legal no man’s land that urgently needs to be filled.“.

    Thirteen measures formulated by the Minister of the Economy Bruno Lemaire

    It’s (almost) done: Friday, March 24, Bruno Le Maire announced a series of measures intended to regulate the activity of influencers on social networks. After several weeks of consultation with various players in the sector, the Minister of the Economy unveiled 13 measures, including the obligation to mention the use of filters on the images but also to specify whether the photo has been retouched.

    The government wants to go “as far as banning” all forms of commercial promotion of cosmetic surgery, which has increased very markedly among the youngest. The regulations on alcohol, sports betting and online games will also apply on social networks.

    To control all this, Bruno Le Maire also announces the creation of a commercial influence brigade with 15 people within the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control (DGCCRF). Measures grouped together in a bill which must be voted on Tuesday, March 28 in the National Assembly.

    Influencers step up

    After these announcements, 150 influencers co-signed a forum at the initiative of the Union of Influencers and Content Creators, and published in the Journal du Dimanche to denounce these proposals. “Scams, counterfeits, dubious business practices, some have made people believe in recent months that they are representative of our sector when they only represent a minority. It is their abuses that we first wish to denounce” they write.

    Since then, several influencers have publicly withdrawn their signature, affirming their desire to “fight against scammers” and say they agree with the fact that a “supervision must be studied“. Hence a backpedaling in order of the UMICC…

    A bill welcomed by Elsa Marie

    This announcement is a first step, we welcome itexplains Elsa Mari.It is necessary to establish a solid legal framework on these issues. We have also been in contact with the digital adviser of the ministry, in order to share our proposals to help regulate the sector.“adds the journalist, who nevertheless deplores the lack of a position of the government vis-à-vis plastic surgeons, “who also participate in this system“.

    Influencers are only one link in the chain, a strong link certainly, but it is not enough. Just like the measure concerning the use of filters only in the context of partnerships, it is too limited!” she adds. However, Elsa Mari considers that the law must absolutely be passed. “This shouldn’t be a slap in the face, it’s a necessary law to protect young people“.