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Powerful excesses: Squeezy, Cyprien, Just Riad… ask MPs not to “break their model”

“Don’t break our model” with “minority excesses” presented to MPs on Sunday by 150 powerful individuals, including stars like McFly, Squeezy, Cyprien, Just Riad or Sananas, ahead of a bill to regulate their activity next week.

“We hear about influencersfrom fight to fight against us. We believe this is a mistake. That the minority has become the majority,” say the influencers in an op-ed published in the Journal du Dimanche.

Bruno Le Maire, economy minister, on Friday unveiled a series of measures to regulate a sector that has so far been largely unchecked. Specifically, he wants the 150,000 French influencers who often make a living promoting products to be subject to “the same advertising rules” as traditional media. A public consultation was held in January to determine consumer expectations.

“Some pretended to be representative”

These Instagram, YouTube, Twitch and TikTok stars are worried they will be equated with those accused of misleading consumers. “Your only compass should be protecting consumers from abuse by a minority that thinks everything is allowed, and preserving our operations and the jobs we create. Do not break the virtuous model that we are building on the four corners of France together with the French and for the French. Understand it, protect it, grow it,” the influencers plead.

“Frauds, fakes, questionable business practices, some of these have led people in recent months to believe that they represent our sector, although they represent only a minority. It is their abuses that we want to condemn in the first place,” they insist.

“Of course we are not perfect. We made mistakes. But our priority has been and always will be to protect consumers, our communities. We stand as a foundation for the sector,” assure the signatories, some of whom formed a federation in mid-January, the Union of Powerful Professions and Content Creators (Umicc).

“The debate is not about being for or against influence”

“We are not walking billboards,” asking MPs not to “view them as a threat” and not to “undermine a thriving economy” that represents “thousands of jobs” by helping to promote businesses.

They also point to the inattention they may be victims of: “Considering us a threat is to discredit and despise a section of French youth,” they assure, before concluding that “the debate is not for or against influence.”

In January, the Anti-Fraud Office (DGCCRF) released a damning investigation into the sector’s practices of deceiving products sold, promoting risky sports betting, and even injections by “beauticians and non-medical professionals.” A cross-party bill due this week would also ban cosmetic surgery ads.

Source: Le Parisien

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