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French influencer marketing trade body UMICC launches Ethical Charters for influencers, agencies and agents

UMICC, the French professional association for influencer marketing, has published three ethical charters to help creators, advertisers, agencies, and industry players adhere to the principles of responsible influence.

Ethical charters
Ethical charters

French influencer marketing trade body, UMICC (Union des Métiers de l'Influence et des Créateurs de Contenu), has created a series of ethical charters that will be binding for all its members. 

Created by UMICC’s Ethics Committee, the three proposed charters address agencies, influencer agents and content creators. A fourth charter covering technological solutions like Kolsquare is in planning. 

“These proposed charters are the result of several months of intense collaborative work,” comments Kolsquare Founder and CEO, and UMICC Ethics Committee Vice President, Quentin Bordage

“These Ethical Charters represent a major step forward in ensuring a responsible and sustainable future for our industry. We have tried to be exhaustive, yet pragmatic, in covering the full range of issues that our promising industry is facing, and to provide guidance in how best to respond.” 

UMICC members,but also industry players and public authorities are now invited to review and offer feedback on the proposed Ethical Charters. 

The charters will apply to all UMICC members with immediate effect. The Ethics Committee has been empowered to intervene in the event of non-compliance of members with the principals laid out in the charters, and could suspend members from UMICC. 

Contracts, KOL partnerships, and children working as minors, UMICC charters define ethical standards for influencer marketing in France

The charters address issues such as relationships and contracts between advertisers, agents and creators, protection of minors working as influencers, transparency, and respect for service providers. 

Importantly, the UMICC charters also address ethical issues such as avoiding hate speech, racism or sexism in content. 

The Ethical Charters also require creators and agencies to respect the recommendations for responsible influence as laid out by France’s advertising self-regulator ARPP, and to favour partnerships with KOLs who have completed the Certificate of Responsible Influence

A separate document, List for Brand Checking, was inspired by Paye Ton Influence, an independent organisation which works to raise awareness amongst KOLs and brands in France of the environmental impact of activities. UMICC’s List for Brand Checking provides stakeholders with a practical list of questions to ask and answer before agreeing to partnerships, to ensure the brand’s values align with their own. 

It covers the environmental impact of the brand and its products, evaluating the potential for greenwashing, and provides information about tools to help determine product quality, or whether the brand is an industry lobby.

“There are a multitude of brands, lobbies and services providers all clamouring to work with content creators. In the rush of the day-to-day, it is often difficult for creators, agencies and agents to determine which of them act responsibly, and which ones it might be inadvisable to partner with,” comments Bordage. 

“The idea of the checklist is to provide a clear, straightforward tool to help industry players evaluate potential partners in relation to ecological, ethical and legal considerations.” 

French influencer marketing industry: breaking new ground for responsible influence

UMICC was established to represent influencer marketing professionals in 2023, as public debate about the role of influencers ramped up and French politicians moved to regulate the industry. 

A professional federation, UMICC’s members include creators, agencies, influencer agents, and influencer marketing platforms like Kolsquare. The organisation played a crucial role in helping to shape a dedicated law for influencer marketing that was enacted in June 2023.

That law marked a turning point for influencer marketing, not only in France but also in Europe, being the first to lay out a clear definition for “commercial influencer” and “influencer agent”.  

The enacting of the law also followed several years’ work by advertising self-regulator ARPP, which first began monitoring transparency of branded influencer content through the creation of the Observatory of Responsible Influence in 2017, and the Certificate of Responsible Influence in 2021. 

Today, more than 1,400 French content creators have completed the responsible influence certificate, with the model being replicated by advertising self-regulators across Europe. 

To consult the UMICC Ethical Charters in full, click on the following links.

Ethical Charter for Agencies

Ethical Charter for Content Creators

Ethical Charter for Agents

List for Brand Checking

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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