The French parliament’s bill to bring transparency to influencer content is a welcome move against false beauty standards. But as marketing visuals turn to generative AI and digital humans, will the same obstacles raise its ugly head?
French social media influencers are a click away from letting out an oh mon dieu!
The National Assembly of the French Parliament passed a bill, introducing new laws for influencers motivated by the need for transparency, customer-centric values, and sound ethics.
Influencers will not only be forced to fess up to using filters and photoshopped content but also declare paid partnerships. It also deters influencers from promoting cosmetic surgery on social media while making it mandatory for them to label the images when filters or photoshop has been used. Media platforms will also have to build new tools to flag such violations.
“While it is a formidable creative vector and an economic benefit, anchored in the daily lives of millions of citizens, this sector suffers from inexistent or unclear rules,” said Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, according to French news outlet RFI.
The move attempts to counter unreal beauty standards which have been proven to breed body dysmorphia leading to severe physical and mental health issues.
In an interview with local media, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that influencers should be subjected to the same rules as traditional media. The internet, according to him, “is not the Wild West.” With the introduction of the bill, violations will attract a hefty fine or even jail time.
In other news, the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) conducted a survey that reported 60% of influencers violate advertising regulations and consumer rights.
According to another report, only the Instagram Influencer Market is expected to grow to $22.2 billion by 2025. Add TikTok, SnapChat and other social media platforms, and the numbers soar. In the age of the woke consumer, brands need to be cognisant of how influencer’s behaviours reflect on them.
Considering this, the re-alignment of business values to customer transparency,the bill is a happy change of pace. However, where do digital humans fit into this bill?
Where do digital humans fit in?
Living in the digital economy, where everything digital is the mantra to remain competitive, brands also see great economic value from generative content and digital influencer strategies. As the bill is unclear on digital avatars and influencers, loopholes are bound to find its way.
So the question we must ask now is: What happens when ethics and economics come head to head? Where does this future lead?