Influencers in France can now be jailed if found to have broken new promotion rules after a law was officially passed, CNN reported. The tough new laws aim to protect consumers from misleading or false commercial practices online. They restrict the promotion of lottery games and betting and ban the advertising of goods such as tobacco. For the first time in Europe, this role is defined by law. On Wednesday, the cross-party legislation passed unanimously in a vote in the Senate after moving through the rest of parliament. Influencers are online personalities who have a large following and can set trends. Some of them encourage people to buy the products they advertise, but often don’t declare that they accept money in exchange for promoting them. French lawmakers said they had sought to “clarify the contours” of commercial activity and specify the “responsibilities and obligations” of influencers amid a rise in the number of defrauded online individuals.
Under their new laws, “participants with commercial influence” will not be able to advertise lottery or gambling games on platforms that do not have the capacity to prohibit access to minors.
Along with tobacco products, the advertising of cosmetic surgery, as well as some financial products and medical devices, will be banned. Violations can mean a sentence of up to two years in prison or a fine of up to €300,000. However, there are concerns about the authorities’ ability to monitor compliance with the new rules – especially when influencers’ accounts are visible in France but the person is physically outside the country’s jurisdiction. There are believed to be more than 150,000 influencers in France, according to data from its Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty.
Photo by Atypeek Dgn: https://www.pexels.com/photo/french-flag-against-blue-sky-5781917/