They are beautiful, glamorous and dazzling. In truth, these are the new stars of this century, the heirs of the princes of Hollywood. For several years, influencers have been the new pillars of advertising as well as “models” for the younger generation, who see some of them as new “men in their own right.” While iconic stars go through the back door at the Cannes Film Festival to avoid fans, it’s these “approachable and famous” influencers who show off on the beaches and restaurants of the Riviera (source: Terrasse d’Albana).
But who are these new web stars with brazen fame? In the beginning, there was nothing but a few taunts from the reality show contestants or an occasional interest from an aspiring blogger. Then came the digital age, the emergence of social networks, the guarantee of visibility, the consecration of the most popular bloggers, those whose content causes envy, those who influence. An influencer is born. Leaflets and flyers have given way to digital marketing, so companies have turned to influencers who are more visible to promote their products and services.
Economic operators similar to others
If an influencer does not benefit from his own legal definition, he is nonetheless presented as a network active person benefiting from a community of people of several thousand followers. More complex is the question of qualification of partnerships between influencers and brands… Is it an employment contract? or service delivery? As a rule, the former will be preserved if the agent of influence is in subjection, while the latter is characterized by complete freedom in carrying out its mission. Whatever their qualifications, an influencer is an economic operator like any other, an image-building entrepreneur, an advertising professional.
Therefore, influencers should treat their competitors with respect as well as their partners, a recommendation highlighted in the publications of the respected ARPP. Libel, violation of the law or customs, parasitism and counterfeiting – all this will be the basis for initiating a case of unfair competition.
Counterfeiting, of course, is the main concern of some “headliners” who promote products without complicated “luxury copies” that include the codes of the most prestigious brands. Other, more disturbing cases make headlines as well, such as when mysterious English companies contacted powerful individuals to vilify…