The French government this week launched a month-long public consultation in a bid to set up a code of good conduct for internet influencers. The project proposes to better protect consumers as well as makers of creative content, and will also allow the Economy Ministry to keep fiscal tabs on a very lucrative market.
The profession of influencing has expanded rapidly over the past few years and today represents several socio-economic challenges in France and around the world.
In order to tackle the issues, the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire on Monday launched an online public consultation, to run until 31 January, with the aim of setting up a framework to better regulate this booming sector.
An influencer is someone who uses their celebrity status to sell products or services to their viewers or followers through their social media platforms, be it YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
The activity affects young people in particular, with companies from Dior to McDonald's vying for attention with product placement via influencers.
Of the 150,000 influencers in France, it is estimated that on average, most earn less than €5,000.
But, in some cases, a single Instagram post published by an influencer who has more than three million subscribers can be paid up to €25,000.
"Millions of you consult their opinions, their recommendations in the field of fashion, sport, beauty, travel. They therefore play a role in our daily lives. It gives them a special responsibility", Le Maire explained in a video for the launch of the consultation site on Monday.
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