Towards more “responsible” crypto-influencers in France

The Autorité des marchés financiers and the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority intend to extend the certificate of responsible influence to the field of finance, especially cryptocurrencies.

On social networks, influencers promote many products and services, including cryptocurrencies. However, this promotional activity can be accompanied by risks for investors and the public. In fact, users don’t always know if influencers are getting paid for publications or if some are trying to scam them. Nabilla Benattia-Vergara, for example, was fined € 20,000 for deceptive business practices after promoting trading training services offered by a site specializing in bitcoin trading in 2018 without saying she was paid for it.

In France, two authorities want to encourage crypto-influencers to be accountable with the certificate of responsible influence, which covers different areas such as beauty or luxury and, soon, the financial sector.

Help influencers follow best practices

Having recently announced a strengthening of their partnership “In favor of clear and responsible advertising in the field of financial products”, the Financial Markets Authority (MFA) and the Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority (ARPP) have established a joint work program for the years 2022-2023. This includes a section dedicated to social media influencers in the investment field, with the two authorities intending to create a “Certified form of responsible influence specific to the financial sector”. Launched last year by the ARPP, it aims to present good practices and applicable rules in this field in an educational way (clear, accurate and not misleading communication, indication of the remunerative nature of the publication or possible conflicts of interest, etc. ..)

Specifically, influencers can take an online course during which they are made aware of ethical and legal rules such as transparency on partnerships or the rules to be respected when it comes to the environment, gambling or even food. To get the certificate, they must get at least 75% of the correct answers. However, the MFA clarified with BFM that this certificate will not validate their content or allow them to sell financial products to their customers.

As part of the section dedicated to influencers, the ARPP will also share its knowledge of practices and trends, which will be drawn in particular from its Responsible Influence Observatory. For its part, the MFA will provide “His experience in the sector of financial products and investment services as well as the texts in force”.

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