These harmful influencer behaviours are no longer being tolerated

These harmful influencer behaviours are no longer being tolerated

Influencers have been a large part of social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Typically they earn money through a reliance on sponsored content. Some influencers are using deceptive tactics to get their followers to part with their cash... fortunately, this is being cracked down on.

The deceptive practices of influencers include misleading claims about product legality, promoting prohibited products or services, falsely advertising health benefits, and endorsing gambling services with promises of easy winnings.

The Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs, and Repression of Fraud (DGCCRF) recently completed its evaluations of influencers operating across various platforms, including Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, and YouTube, during 2022 and 2023. The findings, while revealing some improvements, underscore a recurring issue with deceptive commercial practices among a significant portion of influencers. Out of the 300 influencers examined, nearly half were found to have anomalies related to the display of commercial intent in their posts, deceptive claims about products, or the promotion of banned products or services.

In particular, some content creators were found to have misrepresented the legality of certain products or services, such as online courses, or hyaluronic acid injections administered by non-medical professionals. Additionally, concerns were raised over false assertions about products' abilities to cure diseases, like dietary supplements claiming to treat cancer. Moreover, influencers were criticized for endorsing services promising improved odds in gambling, coupled with the allure of easy profits.


In response to these findings, the DGCCRF issued warnings to 35 influencers for occasional lapses and issued 31 injunctions for compliance in more serious cases. Criminal proceedings were initiated in 35 instances of deliberate violations. Despite these actions, the battle against deceptive practices is far from over. The French administration plans to step up its oversight efforts in the coming year and urges consumers to report misleading commercial practices through the SignalConso platform.

While these revelations may come as no surprise, they shed light on a broader issue prevalent across the influencer landscape. A similar study conducted by the European Commission earlier this year highlighted widespread non-compliance with advertising disclosure regulations among influencers across various member states and platforms. The findings highlight the need for greater transparency and accountability in influencer marketing to protect consumers and uphold ethical standards in digital advertising.