Every new profitable industry is bound to be regulated sooner or later, but this French influencer bill might be taking things too far.
The best time to hop onto a new profitable trend, such as influencer marketing, cryptocurrency, AI, and more, is before it becomes over-saturated by government bills and laws.
On March 30th, 2023, the National Assembly of the French parliament passed a bill to limit Mentel health issues among consumers and prevent viewers from comparing themself against what’s considered unrealistic.
We all know that social media is far from our reality, often portraying a luxurious lifestyle or only the best sides of some issues.
The new bill limits creators to many things and has severe consequences to ensure laws are abided by, but it will most definitely affect the successful careers of many creators and more.
Read along as we delve into everything the new bill will entail, and the outcome of implementing such strict regulations on a relatively new industry.
All about the French influencer bill
It all started as a concern of modern age beauty standards from the French Minister of Health Marisol Touraine, who requested edits to be clearly stated when posting back in 2017.
In 2017 Marisol Touraine passed a bill that banned models from being “too skinny,” requiring influecers to state whether or not body photos have been edited and banning models with less body weight than the national index.
French politicians believe social media users are prone to experiencing mental health issues such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or depression resulting from exposure to misleading content.
There is no denying that Social Media has a massive impact on us as individuals and alters our perceptions of the real world around us, but in essence, we all semi-know the truth behind the
portrayed lifestyles and perfect looks.
To some content creators, the new influencer bill is a minor inconvenience they can work around, while it destroys the career of others.
The bill will require apps to modify their platforms and limit users from accessing different features; read along as we break down everything this new influencer bill includes.
What does the French influencer bill entail?
Plastic surgery promotion ban
The main highlight of the whole bill, the French government is working to ban the promotion of plastic surgery advertising completely.
According to Le Maire, “any promotion concerning cosmetic surgery will from now on be prohibited,” a decision that limits many content creators in the beauty and lifestyle niche, along with cosmetic surgery brands with a strong online presence.
The new regulations require influencers and creators to disclose filters in their photos or videos to avoid misleading viewers into believing it is raw or unedited media and comparing themselves against it.
Influencers or creators that fail to disclose this information will face extreme consequences, possibly leading to jail time and monetary fines.
Photoshop declarations are another disclosure that content creators are obligated to provide before uploading all their edited media, which defeats the entire purpose of photoshopping.
The authoritative French figures argue that it harms the psychological wellness of consumers and that viewers can be deceived by what is an altered fake standard.
Influencers under the legal age of 19 will be required to get a state-signed document allowing them to pursue their media careers, and revenues will be on government hold until they are of legal age.
This decision will help French authorities better monitor minor age influecers and ensure they are not participating in harmful activities or part of any negative messages or propaganda.
Financial services restrictions
This decision limits the promotion of financial services, such as Cryptocurrencies, MLM schemes, and loan providers.
The same rules that will apply to influencers are already in action amongst traditional media companies, helping the governing bodies better control the country’s economic state.
In addition to all the new rules and restrictions, influencers will be limited to the physical and digital products they can promote. A few boundaries that need to be defined include the modifications of international dropshipping/e-commerce and online course selling laws.
Execution of the French influencer bill this new strategy?
It is difficult to change everything overnight, as creators and influencers have been following unlimited out-of-box creative strategies since they began their careers.
The National Assembly of the French Parliament created a set of new laws that social media platforms must follow to be allowed inside the country.
Apps such as TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter must modify and restrict some feature accessibility to French users. If compliance with new laws does not serve major brands’ best interest, France can lose many jobs and future innovative technologies.
Additionally, Apps that modify their terms of service and comply with the new French bills must develop an enhanced accurate reporting system with the local Government.
Whether major platforms deem these changes worth the extra work will determine how profitable the French market is to these companies.
The Minister of Health’s concern about an unrealistic beauty standard will become an economic matter discussed globally, considering foreign media companies invested in French media and the interest of billion-dollar social media companies in the country.
Failure to comply with the new Influencer bill
Influencers and content creators can face six months of jail time, face fines of up to $300,000, and get their social media accounts deleted.
However, the consequences are not limited to creators; these new laws also affect marketing and talent agencies and social media companies that fail to abide.
What does this mean for influencers around the world?
If this new bill passes, France will be the first country to regulate influencers’ creative freedom and an experiment for the rest of governments worldwide.
There is no doubt that all most all offices of administration across the world will attempt to profit from the billion-dollar industry using restrictions, and France will be the one who paves the road.
Aside from privacy concerns and data-sharing rules, no other country shares a similar interest in controlling what influencers could say or do as long as they did not go against common local laws.
Governments want enhanced control over the internet and everything that happens on it. In recent years technology has been evolving so fast that perhaps rules and regulations haven’t been studied yet.
Restricting some aspects of social media may be in the public’s best interest, but the consequences France set in place are somewhat debatable. Administrative offices must acknowledge that many lives depend on social media nowadays, and changing things overnight isn’t a solution.
As experts in the influencer industry, we recommend gradual shits towards anything being enforced and solid evidence to support such income-harming decisions.