French social media influencers, including those influencing the crypto industry, must obtain certifications in the Responsible Influence in Financial Advertising program before advertising a financial product, according to a Sept. 7 press statement.
The Responsible Influence Certificate in Finance was created by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) to test influencers on the new law regulating social media influencers.
The law, which took effect on June 1, mandates influencers to disclose sponsored content on their pages and prohibits them from promoting harmful or unsuitable products and services to their audience.
To get the certificate, the influencers must score at least 75% on 25 multiple-choice questions that test their understanding of the rules for financial products. The certificate is only valid for a year, and the influencers must take the test again to renew.
The course covers various topics, including investment products, financial services, crypto assets and digital asset service providers, and other related issues.
AMF Chair Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani said:
“This responsible influence certificate in financial advertising will help to professionalize this field and protect investors from financial products that are too complex or too risky.”
With this, France sets a noteworthy precedent that could influence other nations trying to regulate the advertisements of the emerging industry. Essentially, this action can potentially combat the advertisement of fraudulent cryptocurrency ventures from paid shills.
Meanwhile, similar guidelines exist in the United Kingdom, where British regulators have adopted a stringent stance on cryptocurrency-related advertising. Earlier in the year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provided clear legal pathways for companies to market crypto assets to consumers. The regulator warned that defaulters of these measures may face up to two years imprisonment.
Additionally, the U.K. Treasury is actively considering prohibiting cold calls within the financial services sector to combat fraudulent activities.
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