TV program. “Complément d’Enquête” looks back on the booming business of “influencers”

This is the case, unexpectedly of course, which marked this summer: rapper Booba started a media war with the hashtag #influvoleurs, accompanied by a site, intended to collect testimonials from subscribers who feel ripped off by the stars they follow on social networks. Two complaints followed against X for deceptive business practices and organized gang scams, most notably involving Shauna Events, one of the main influencer agencies in France, led by Magali Berdah. The latter accuses the rapper of intimidation and was given the opening of an investigation that led to the deletion of Booba’s Instagram account.

Anecdotal clash or real legal battle? The magazine “Complément d’Enquête” took an interest in these famous product placements of the influencers denounced by the rapper.

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What exactly is product placement?

Nabilla, Jessica Thivenin and Thibault Garcia, Paga, Jazz, Mila Jasmine… their names probably mean something to you. If they all made themselves known by participating in a reality TV show, their colorful personalities and their advantageous physique soon attracted advertisers.

If Nabilla now to 10 . can touch 000 euros for a short video at 90% of the clothes and accessories in Milla Jasmine’s wardrobe were given to her, thanks to a woman: the high priestess of influencers, Margali Berdah. This former insurance broker went bankrupt in 2011 when she came into contact with some of these new stars of the small screen to whom brands offer products in exchange for exposure on their social networks. She then understands that their image has value and that she can help them monetize this exposure.: These are the known product placements.

The profitability of product placements is no longer provable: They are twice as popular as traditional advertising. So, of course, brands go out of their way to grab a few minutes on the social networks of star influencers.

It’s the goose that lays the golden eggsMathieu Jabaud, specialist in media strategy, admits to the show’s journalists. “ On the one hand you have traditional advertising, on the other hand someone who discusses their ups and downs with you and at some point has a product in hand. Inevitably I want the same, we’re really emotional: we don’t feel like we’re buying anything, we act like a friend, a buddy we follow every day.»

We’re very emotional: we don’t feel like we’re buying anything.

Mathieu Jabaud, media strategy specialist

Counterfeit products and prohibited substances

This thriving business is not immune to its portion of excesses. Fake driver’s license, counterfeit products, sports betting or risky financial investments… Some product placements do not always comply with the law.

Cindy Reymond, 62000 subscribers on Instagram, paid the price themselves. After participating in the TF1 program, “Family large: life in XXL”, she joined the agency WeEvents – Shauna Events’ main competitor – which offered her product placement for a brand of hair products. Supporting photos she claims then lost in density, length and even whole hands full of hair.

Faced with her questions, her agent advised her to replace the contents of the popular bottles with these usual products in order to continue promoting them on her social networks while pretending to actually use them on a daily basis. The family’s mother refuses the arrangement and breaks her contract with WeEvents.

The teams of ”Complément d’Enquête” have a ruling from the Paris Court of Appeal on 24 February 2022: We learn that the Anti-Fraud (DGCCRF) has analyzed the brand’s products at the end of 2019 and discovered the presence of several banned substances. Another analysis from September 2020 subsequently confirmed the presence of banned substances in nine products marketed by the brand.

In addition, the teams of “Complément d’Enquête” have noted through the legal notices of the cosmetics site that the owner of the brand is none other than… the WeEvents agency. Contacted by our colleagues, its CEO, Wesley Nakache, defends the composition of its hair products, citing a simple mistake on the part of its supplier.

20000 euro fine for Nabilla

Faced with the dozens of daily publications of influencers, some of which are not visible for more than 24 hours, this example is unfortunately no exception, but the DGCCRF promises an increasingly strong mobilization and the Minister of Economy in no one addressed, of course via video on social networks, to influencers to warn them.

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