Two influencers publicly singled out by fraud crackdown for their ‘deceptive practices’

by time news

2023-06-01 13:15:50

The day after the adoption by the deputies of the text aimed at regulating the sector of influence, Bercy uses for the first time the “name and shame” vis-à-vis the influencers Illan Castronovo and Simon Castaldi.

The tide is turning for influencers. On Wednesday, the deputies unanimously voted for a bill aimed at combating the excesses of influencers on social networks, before probable final adoption in the Senate on Thursday. In the process, the General Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) forced two of them to post a message on their social networks for 30 days, because of their “misleading business practices».

This is the first time that Bercy has used “name and shame” to target Internet stars. The practice, now enshrined in law, allows the state to publicly reveal the identity or actions of a person (or organization) for the purpose of exposing or discrediting them. This sword of Damocles weighed on the sector of influence: at the beginning of May, the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, had announced that the government would not hesitate to “give the names of influencers who have not respected the rules».

Hidden Advertising

Only two influencers, Simon Castaldi and Illan Castronovo, have been publicly pinned at this stage. Their practices are the subject of aadministrative injunctionpronounced by the agents of the repression of the frauds. In detail, Simon Castaldi is accused of concealing “the commercial intent of its publications, yet directly related to the promotion of goods or services” as well as “brands for which it carries out these communications“. These shortcomings would amount to “hidden advertising“, according to the management. Illan Castonovo is targeted for his sports betting advice service, supposedly “increase the chances of winning at gambling“. He is also in the sights of the authorities for having promoted “a payment service in cash for part of the balance of the Personal Training Account».

A few hours after the publication of the message from the DGCCRF, Illan Castronovo explained himself in a story on his Instagram account. Seeming to challenge the method of “name and shaming“, the influencer writes that he”would have liked us to [les influenceurs] rather be framed». «Know that an influencer has no interest in scamming his community“, he also clarified, before clearing himself: “I personally did not do any scam, any scam, […] and I remind you that it’s been two years that I do more product placements“. Simon Castaldi, for his part, did not react to the administrative injunction. Another celebrity, however, expressed his satisfaction: it is the rapper Booba, particularly committed to the fight against the excesses of influence. This one split a tweet taking up the news, and adding, for any caption, the word “Pinned», followed by a thumbtack smiley.

Illan Castronovo and Simon Castaldi will not be the only victims of this campaign of name and shame started by Bercy. At the request of the ministry, the DGCCRF has tightened controls on influencers since December 2022, to the point of having carried out as many in one quarter as during the whole of last year. May’s beginning, the fraud crackdown said in a press release that it had checked 50 influencers. Among the 30 influencers in violation, “none were transparent about the commercial nature of their approach“, specified the authority, which thus announced “18 injunctions and 16 criminal reports“. According to our information, the Ministry of the Economy will tomorrow unveil the complete list of targeted influencers. This in a “a perspective of raising awareness of loyalty issues“, to use the words of the press release.

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