More than half (60%) of influencers “targeted” since 2021 by Fraud Prevention have not complied with regulations on advertising and consumer rights, and several proceedings have been opened against them, according to a press release on Monday January 23.
The investigation by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) “targeted” more than sixty agencies and influencers active in the promotion of cosmetics, food supplements, programs “thinness” or even in online trading and betting services.
“All of the influencers in anomaly did not respect the rules relating to the transparency of the commercial nature of their publications”, detailed in a press release the management attached to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Two complaints for organized fraud
She accused some thirty of them of having “deceived consumers about the properties of the products sold” or of having “promoted risky products or services” in the field of sports betting.
“In the most serious cases, some influencers have carried out unauthorized promotional operations, such as the use of the professional training account (CPF) to recover cash or gifts (…) or that of injections aimed at aesthetics by estheticians and non-healthcare professionals,” the administration added.
It also targets certain practitioners of dropshipping, a commercial concept where the customer places an order on the website of a seller who does not have stock. In this system, the seller is only a simple intermediary who obtains supplies from a wholesaler, and who can increase his margin as he wishes. Bercy’s services indicate that they have initiated several procedures against them.
In addition, two collective complaints bringing together 88 joint complaints were filed for “fraud” and “breach of trust” on Friday January 20 with the Paris prosecutor. One of these two complaints is aimed in particular at Marc and Nadé Blata, a couple of French influencers based in Dubai, suspected of having promoted very risky financial courses, with the promise of significant returns.
Investigation for “misleading commercial practices”
The conflict that erupted last year between Magali Berdah, boss of the powerful influencer agency Shauna Events, and rapper Booba shed light on the abuses of product promotion on social networks and the risks, particularly for consumers. younger.
Justice opened an investigation for “misleading commercial practices” against this agency on September 6, which was entrusted to the police station of Antibes (Alpes Maritimes), city where the company is registered.
Wishing to better regulate the practices of influencers, the Ministry of the Economy initiated a series of meetings in December with around fifty players in the sector and launched a public consultation, open until January 31. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire will report on these contributions and any decisions by March 2023.
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