In a move to regulate the advertising practices of social media influencers, including those in the crypto industry, French influencers are now required to obtain certifications in the Responsible Influence in Financial Advertising program. This program was developed by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) as a means to test influencers on the new law governing their activities. This article explores the significance of this certification program and its potential impact on the industry.
Understanding the New Law
The law, which came into effect on June 1, imposes several requirements on influencers. They are now obliged to disclose sponsored content on their social media pages and are prohibited from promoting harmful or unsuitable products and services to their audience. The Responsible Influence Certificate in Finance aims to ensure that influencers are knowledgeable about these regulations and understand the rules for financial products.
The Certification Process
To obtain the certificate, influencers must score a minimum of 75% on a 25-question multiple-choice test that assesses their comprehension of the financial product regulations. The certificate is valid for one year, and influencers must retake the test to renew it. The course covers various topics, including investment products, financial services, crypto assets, digital asset service providers, and related issues. By requiring influencers to pass this certification program, the French authorities aim to professionalize the field and protect investors from complex or risky financial products.
France’s implementation of the Responsible Influence in Financial Advertising program sets a notable precedent that could influence other countries striving to regulate the advertising practices of the emerging crypto industry. This proactive action has the potential to combat the promotion of fraudulent cryptocurrency ventures by paid influencers. By ensuring that influencers are knowledgeable about the regulations and the impact of their influence, France is taking a significant step towards consumer protection.
The United Kingdom has also adopted similar guidelines regarding cryptocurrency-related advertising. British regulators, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), have already established clear legal pathways for companies to market crypto assets to consumers. The FCA has warned that non-compliance with these measures may result in up to two years of imprisonment. Moreover, the U.K. Treasury is actively considering the prohibition of cold calls in the financial services sector to combat fraudulent activities.
The introduction of the Responsible Influence in Financial Advertising program for French social media influencers, including those in the crypto industry, signifies a pivotal moment in the regulation of advertising practices in the digital age. By requiring influencers to obtain certifications and demonstrate their understanding of financial product regulations, France is leading the way in professionalizing the industry and safeguarding investors. This initiative may pave the way for other nations to adopt similar measures, ultimately fostering greater transparency and consumer protection within the crypto industry.