In response to the growing influence of financial and crypto influencers, France has taken a noteworthy step by introducing a “Responsible Influence Certificate.”

This non-obligatory certificate aims to regulate and provide guidance to influencers who promote investment products through their blogs and social media platforms.

On September 7th, two prominent French regulatory agencies, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP), announced their joint effort to establish a comprehensive training program for influencers operating within the financial sector.

The “Responsible Influence Certificate” initially made its debut in 2021 under the ARPP’s purview. At that time, it primarily focused on influencer practices related to advertising and promotion. Remarkably, over 1,000 French influencers had already obtained this certificate.

Now, the program has been extended to cater specifically to financial influencers who endorse various investment products, including equities, bonds, ETFs, funds, derivatives, and even wine. Notably, the certificate also addresses the promotion of crypto-assets.

To attain the “Responsible Influence Certificate in Financial Advertising,” influencers must score a minimum of 75% correct answers on a set of 25 multiple-choice questions.

While obtaining the certificate is not legally mandatory, the ARPP holds the authority to revoke it from influencers who fail to comply with its guidelines.

Furthermore, aspiring influencers seeking the Responsible Influence Certificate must first acquire the “general Certificate” designed by the ARPP, which applies to all influencers.

France’s move towards regulating financial and crypto influencers aligns with evolving global perspectives on influencer marketing in the crypto and financial sectors.

In May 2023, the French Senate passed an amendment permitting registered cryptocurrency companies to engage social media influencers for advertising and promotional activities.

In contrast, the United Kingdom’s regulatory stance on influencers is more stringent, warning that influencer promotions could lead to legal offenses punishable by imprisonment of up to two years, significant fines, or both.

Additionally, the European Consumer Organisation is actively advocating for a complete ban on crypto advertising by influencers.