The services of the DGCCRF imposed a fine of 20,000 euros on Nabilla Benattia-Vergara for having touted financial services around cryptocurrencies, without specifying that it was an advertisement.
This is a very steep fine that could serve as a wake-up call to influencers who sometimes do not clearly indicate that promoting an offer on social networks is in fact remunerated. The former reality TV star Nabilla Benattia-Vergara has just been sanctioned by the administration for a hidden sponsorship on Snapchat.
The person concerned will pay a fine of 20,000 euros, an amount which includes the ” profit from the promotion operation », Specifies in a press release the general direction of competition, consumption and the repression of fraud (DGCCRF). The sanction also takes into account the nature of the alleged offenses, which fall under the category of deceptive marketing practices.
The DGGCRF specifies that the fine results from a transaction with Nabilla, which accepted it. This process makes it possible to propose a sanction in the event of an infringement, but without going through the case of a trial, the outcome of which is uncertain and which may lead to potentially heavier penalties. The transaction is considered on relatively minor facts and must be validated by the public prosecutor.
Nabilla touted financial services without specifying his economic ties with them
At the origin of this case is a publication published in January 2018 in which Nabilla extolled the merits of Bitcoin, ensuring her audience of significant gains (by investing 1,000 euros, she claimed to have very quickly generated 800 euros more) and without any risk (” you can go with your eyes closed “,” nothing to lose “The sums invested in Bitcoin are” money you can always get back “).
The influencer ‘s message highlighted a trading site, called TraderLeBitcoin, which then reported to Capital, was only two months old and was based in Andorra. It appeared that this platform charges several hundred euros for access to services, but not when we go through its partner, the Cypriot broker eToro, whose activity is aimed at speculators.
Shortly after the publication of Nabilla, the Autorité des marchés financiers issued a warning recalling the very high volatility of the price of the famous cryptocurrency. ” Bitcoin is very risky! You can lose your whole stake. No miracle placement. stay away », Wrote the institution.
During its investigations, the national investigation service of the DGCCRF noted two faults: the first was not to have mentioned that it was receiving money from TraderLeBitcoin and eToro to praise their services. The second is not to have correctly presented the characteristics of the service and the expected results of its use, promising great things.
” Failure to indicate the advertising nature of its publication (by a logo or an oral or written mention, for example) constitutes a deceptive commercial practice against its subscribers who may mistakenly believe that the influencer ‘s promotion is the result of ” a selfless positive personal experience », Develops the DGCCRF, whereas it is about an advertisement.
The administration recalls that influencers ” must in particular comply with the rules provided for by the Consumer Code When they are called upon to promote brands, while benefiting either from free products or from contracts ensuring them an inflow of money. It is not a question of preventing them from concluding these partnerships, but of playing fair with the audience.