A new French law regulates social network influencers in the Life Sciences Sector | Fieldfisher
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A new French law regulates social network influencers in the Life Sciences Sector

Over the weekend (10th June 2023), a new law was published in France which defines a new legal framework for how influencers can communicate on the social networks. As a comparison, such a specific formal law does not exist in Germany, Italy, Spain or the United Kingdom, although in Spain there are general guidelines called the Code of Conduct for the use of influencers, and in Italy, specific guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.

As in Austria, the new French law formally targets medicines, medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices (MD/IVD-MD), unlike the German laws or the Spanish Code of Conduct for example. The French law provides, in particular, that the strict rules governing advertising and medicines or advertising and MD/IVD-MD, formally apply to influencers. As is the case in other European countries (e.g. Austria, Germany, Spain, or the United Kingdom), the French law also provides that the influencer must clearly mention "Communication" or "Commercial collaboration" along with the communication concerning the product.

Failure to comply with this new law will be penalized as if the influencer had engaged in deceptive commercial practices. However, there is no formal fine such as in Germany for example (EUR 500k), by contrast with Italy where there is no specific sanction against influencers. A French order will be published soon, in order to clarify the new requirements issued in the law.

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