For a more responsible use of influence: consulting agencies make a commitment!
Brands, agencies and influencers must work hand in hand to usher in a new era of more authentic, responsible and sustainable influencer marketing.
The law designed to combat fraudulent practices by influencers on social networks was passed by Parliament on March 30. A necessity for its rapporteurs, at a time when influence marketing is gaining ground, bringing with it a number of abuses. Over the past 3 years, we’ve seen the rise of a more ethical influence, driven by PR professionals, who have been at the forefront and pioneers in this area since 2020.
Influencer marketing comes of age
Influencer marketing is a recent phenomenon in the history of communications. And yet, its growth has been meteoric. It involves a brand leveraging the reputation of influential content creators and the engagement of their communities to gain visibility.
The arrival of reality TV stars on social networks has sometimes been accompanied by questionable practices, which have tarnished the image of influence: buying likes or followers, false product recommendations, scams…
Faced with the scale of the phenomenon, the legislature took up the issue, bringing together France’s leading PR and influence consultancies. An initiative welcomed by the entire profession, and which led to the adoption of a law to put an end to such abuses.
This decision reflects several years of militancy on the part of consulting agencies, who have been working on this subject within CPRS since 2020. A “Charter for Influencer Relations”, advocating a more transparent relationship when working with influencers, soon emerged and was signed by all SRCP members. It sets high standards in terms of transparency, advice, integrity, compliance and measurement.
Promoting transparency and honesty
As an agency PR & Influence As a member of the SRCP, we at FHCOM share the public authorities’ concerns on this vital issue. We need to regulate the commercial collaboration of influencers, and thus combat the abuses that penalize an entire ecosystem.
Encouraging responsible practices means, in particular, promoting sincere, concrete commitments on the part of the various parties involved in influence. Penalties are also necessary to dissuade the unwilling. Today, the CPRS is taking things a step further, by launching the “Responsible Influence Consulting Agency” e-label. This will enable economic players to prove their commitments via an e-label assessed by the AFNOR certification body. This label will focus on verifying that the means are in place to ensure a more responsible online influence, such as: training for PR professionals, transparency between players and the use of ARPP-certified influencers.
What’s certain is that we’re witnessing a fundamental trend. The abuses of influencer marketing have reminded us of the importance of putting ethics back at the heart of this discipline. Working hand in hand with their consulting agencies and influencers, brands will be able to create a positive, value-bearing influence that will appeal to their audience.