Updated: March 9, 2023
The national assembly will examine a bill aimed at “fight against scams and excesses of influencers on social networks” on March 27. The text aims to prohibit influencers not registered with the AMF from promoting projects related to crypto currencies. For the registered influencers, collaborations with crypto projects will be possible on the condition that they have the right to communicate in France. Which implies that only crypto companies recorded PSAN with the AMF are taken into account.
Although the deputies explain that the purpose of this proposal “is not to prohibit talking about crypto-assets, but to put an end to undeclared promotions and associated excesses.”, it looks very similar.
The definition of influencer in the proposed text is also broad:
Any natural or legal person who, for consideration or in exchange for a benefit in kind, produces and distributes by means of electronic communication content which aims, when expressing his personality, to promote goods, services, or any cause whatsoever.
The latest crypto market bullrun has many “influencers” promoting all sorts of dubious financial products, at least for the most part. Something that regulators want to regulate to best protect newcomers. The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) And the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority (ARPP) announced strengthen their collaboration “in favor of clear and responsible advertising in the field of financial products”.
Concretely, this new collaboration extends their partnership agreement signed in 2011, focused on “communication of the financial services sector”, to the sector of digital assets (crypto currencies…), and to most of the financial or investment services that this environment contains. As part of this operation, a “joint work program” for the years 2022-2023 will also come into force.
“Among the priority projects are the creation of an ARPP recommendation to its members on communications relating to assets and token offerings, as well as the update of its general recommendation on communications relating to financial or investment products and services”.
According to the AMF
In addition, the ARPP plans to update its recommendations concerning communications on financial contracts to leverage or the one on the “atypical” investments such as precious metals, wines or art.
The AMF and the ARPP establish a new responsible influencer status
The financial authorities do not intend to stop there. In effect, the report published by the AMF on July 21 also mentions the creation of a “responsible influence certification” dedicated to influencers (Tiktok, Twitter, Instagram…) promoting financial products on social networks.
“After the launch of its Responsible Influence Observatory in 2021, by the ARPP, the first findings showed the lack of transparency on the part of influencers on commercial collaboration in more than one in four content.”
declared the AMF
As you know, the recent explosion in the market for crypto currencies has resulted in the promotion of countless financial services and products (crypto projects, NFT collections, etc.), many of which are promoted by influencers without any expertise. This emergence of “scams” has therefore prompted many beginners to invest all their capital in Ponzi schemes or other dubious projects vanishing a few weeks after their launch.
The AMF and the ARPP therefore wish to put an end to, or at least limit as best as possible, the promotion of these products for very dubious purposes. Therefore, this new certificate of influence will introduce “in a pedagogical way” new rules governing influencers in this sector. This includes in particular a clear, accurate and non-misleading communication– a indication of the remunerated nature of a publication, and much more.
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