France has introduced a training program called the Responsible Influence Certificate to help financial influencers follow ethical guidelines. The certificate, which is non-obligatory, is a training program designed to ensure that influencers adhere to ethical standards and best practices, particularly when promoting investment products.
The initiative has been launched in collaboration between the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP). These agencies are hoping to give credibility to the digital voices that influence investment decisions ranging from equities and bonds to cryptocurrency. The certificate program will cover a wide array of topics, including ETFs, funds, derivatives, and even niche investment avenues like wine.
To earn the Responsible Influence Certificate in Financial Advertising, influencers will have to score a minimum of 75% on a 25-question multiple-choice test. Although the certificate isn’t a legally required document, ARPP reserves the right to revoke it if an influencer does not comply with its guidelines. The process to obtain this specialized certificate also mandates first completing a general Certificate offered by the ARPP.
Crypto in The Spotlight
The announcement of the Responsible Influence Certificate comes on the heels of a French Senate decision in May 2023. The amendment allows registered cryptocurrency companies to hire social media influencers for advertising and promotional activities, thus furthering the legitimacy of digital currencies in the French financial landscape.
France’s Responsible Influence Certificate signals a nuanced approach to regulating the financial influencer space. While not making it mandatory, the French authorities are keen on imparting a layer of responsibility and integrity to the burgeoning sector, making it one of the first nations to take such a stance.