Posted on: March 23, 2023, 08:03h.
Last updated on: March 23, 2023, 08:03h.
As it deals with protestors rioting in the streets over unwanted pension reforms, France is going after a new sector. A bill is in the works that wants to reduce influencers’ influence on gamblers and cryptocurrency investors.
Bill 790 is an attempt to address the promotion of unregulated or unlicensed activity in the country by influencers on social media. Since no crypto project is licensed in France, this essentially cuts off the segment for content creators.
Influencers have been at the center of debate for several weeks in France. Three weeks ago, the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention revealed that of the 60 influencers and agencies it had targeted since 2021, 60% didn’t respect advertising regulations and consumer rights policies.
No More Influencing Influencers
The bill prohibits advertising in exchange for remuneration of games of skills and chance, video games that include loot boxes, pharmaceuticals and cryptocurrency. Those who fail to comply with the law can receive up to two years in prison and a fine of €30,000 (US$32,730).
Those influencers who break the law could also receive another penalty, although it is more difficult to enforce. They could be prohibited from working as an influencer either temporarily or permanently.
The objective of this bill is to create and strengthen a legal system that can both empower and sanction, where appropriate, all influencers, their agencies, advertisers and distribution platforms, in order to strengthen the protection of social network users and consumers,” explains France’s Bill 790.
The legislative effort could also implicate social media platforms. While not completely outlined, the text of the bill indicates that violations of the law could also lead to repercussions against “distribution platforms” like YouTube, Instagram and others.
Bill 790 is gathering support in France’s legislation. The National Assembly’s Economic Affairs Committee approved it yesterday, and it will now go before the full Assembly and Senate. There’s no timeframe for the final decision to be made.
Scammers Gonna Scam
The legislation is the result of several scams that have permeated France’s digital channels and gained momentum this year. This past January, over 100 people joined a class-action lawsuit against two people pushing cryptocurrency investments and trading.
However, the activity was nothing more than a scam. The two influencers are hoping that they can avoid trouble by hiding out in Dubai. This is the same fraud that has landed in the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) office, as well.
On that end, the SEC has gone after Jake Paul, the influencer and MMA fighter, Lindsey Lohan and Justin Sun for illegal promotions. Sun is the founder of the Tron crypto project, and the SEC accuses him of manipulating markets and offering unregistered securities.
Last year, French influencer and reality TV star Laurent Correira found greater attention for the wrong reasons, as well. He allegedly had a major role in the Billionaire Dogs Project, an NFT (non-fungible token) offering. It ended in a rug pull, but not until after it collected just under $1 million.