HomeBlogInfluence marketingShould the practices of travel influencers be regulated?

Should the practices of travel influencers be regulated?

Lately, many influencers have brought a debate about their responsibility towards their subscribers and their impact on society.

Let’s start with the legal side.

Influencers are not governed by laws of their own regarding their communication activity on social networks. The basic principles to respect are the general rules applicable to advertising: informing your community that a post is an advertisement while respecting the recommendations of the ARPP (Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority in France). If this is not the case, it will be considered a misleading commercial practice.

This principle is not new but the sanctions are very recent, this is due to the increase of influencers present on the networks these last years. The most explicit example is the one of the influencer Nabilla Benattia-Vergara who was fined 20,000 euros following an advertisement for a stock exchange service without indicating the contractual character binding her to this company.

Do you surely remember this fake travel agency promoted by many influencers which made a big buzz on Instagram? This one was selling trips at low prices on social networks, defying all competition. Too good to be true to summarize. Plot twist: it was a fraud. These influencers would have surely realized it if they had verified the veracity of this “company” and the services sold.

Currently, when a product or service placement respects all the rules stated at the beginning, the influencer will not be implicated by the justice system in case of noncompliance. That’s why legislators are currently asking the question and reopening the debate.

How do you frame your collaborations as a brand?

That’s where you have to start. The first thing is to make sure that the classic intellectual property rules are in place. The person who took the picture and created the content is the owner. This must be written into the contracts between brands and influencers. This is a matter of moral rights relating to the authorship of the work and economic rights relating to its sale.

Very often, conflicts can be found in the details not mentioned in the contract and the brief. For example, if the number of stories to be shared or the periodicity of publications is not stipulated, the influencer can sue the brand concerned. It’s similar to working with an artist (photographer, designer…), you can’t use content without his agreement, and there is the notion of image rights. The ease of access to content on social networks. The ease of access to content on social networks sometimes makes it easy to forget that it is not a lawless zone.

The arrival of influence certificates.

Having a responsible image is a selling point for both the influencer and the brand. This certificate will allow a duty of transparency, reassure both parties and put the communities in confidence. The influencer will now be legally protected and allow his profession to be fully recognized as a full-fledged and professional one. This is already the case for the travel influencer Bruno Maltor who obtained it from the ARPP.

For the moment, it is not mandatory but it could be democratized soon.

Could these certificates be extended to sustainable tourism?

Some texts already exist such as the ban on greenwashing since 2022 or the one that consists in saying that one is a zero carbon and responsible company without justifying it. However, there is nothing strictly speaking for sustainable and responsible tourism. It is governed by non-binding rules set up by private organizations, labels, or ISO standards, but it is not contractual or punishable by law if not respected. To be clearer, the definition of sustainable tourism does not even exist in the tourism code. That’s why this question of certificate could be interesting but long to put in place about sustainable tourism which is already not defined as such.


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