French lawmakers have recently reached an agreement to amend a bill that initially proposed stringent restrictions on the use of influencer marketing by locally-registered cryptocurrency companies. The bill’s original draft stipulated that only licensed crypto firms would be permitted to engage in influencer marketing. However, it was discovered that no crypto companies in France currently hold licenses, nor are they legally obligated to do so.
On May 25, the French Senate achieved unanimous consent on a revised version of the bill, which aims to regulate promotions by influencers across various industries. The updated legislation now mandates that only crypto firms registered with the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), can employ influencers for their marketing campaigns. French lawmakers Arthur Delaporte and Stéphane Vojetta released a statement confirming this change.
While the specific wording of the agreed bill has not yet been published, it is understood that the new regulations will restrict the promotion of financial products and cryptocurrencies exclusively to players registered with the AMF. This move aims to enhance the oversight capabilities of both the AMF and the regulator for consumer affairs.
Non-compliance with the new laws could result in penalties, including a potential prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of approximately $322,000 (300,000 euros). Offenders may also face a prohibition on engaging in influencer activities.
The scope of influencer marketing has been further limited under the revised bill. It now includes restrictions on influencers promoting other products, such as nicotine products like vapes. Additionally, the bill introduces a ban on the display of sports betting and gambling advertisements to individuals below the age of 18.
This agreement follows an amendment passed in May by the Senate’s Committee on Economic Affairs, permitting AMF-registered crypto firms to engage in influencer marketing.
The decision to relax the restrictions on cryptocurrency influencer marketing reflects a more nuanced approach by French lawmakers, allowing registered companies to leverage influencers while maintaining regulatory oversight. These changes aim to strike a balance between supporting innovative marketing strategies and safeguarding consumer interests within the cryptocurrency industry.