revelations about the demands of Magali Berdah and Milla Jasmine in “Complementary investigation”

revelations about the demands of Magali Berdah and Milla Jasmine in "Complementary investigation"

Further investigation

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INTERVIEW – Moved to this Sunday evening from 10:35 p.m. on France 2, the subject of the magazine devoted to the business of influencers will be well broadcast despite the “lawyers’ letters”. Meeting with Paul Labrosse, one of the directors.

After Goodbye idiots, make way for the “real business of influencers”. On the program for this Sunday’s evening on France 2, the comedy directed by Albert Dupontel with Virginie Efira will be followed by the magazine “Further investigation” dedicated to these reality TV personalities who made their fortune on the Internet thanks to product placements. A survey synthesized in 52 minutes carried out by Rizlaine Sellika and Paul Labrosse for CAT & Cie which takes us to influencers based in Dubai as reality show contestant Milla Jasmine. A complete decryption of the functioning of the activity of these personalities paid by agencies belonging to large television production companies.

This very lucrative business has its dark side and has been causing controversy over its operation for many months. Poor quality oversold products, counterfeits, orders that do not arrive at their destination, phantom companies… Faced with all these denounced scams which claim hundreds of victims, the protagonists pass the buck and no one assumes their responsibilities. Since the deprogramming of “Complément d’Enquête” last Thursdayseveral participants in this investigation asked to be removed from the assembly according to our colleagues from puremedias and threaten the issuance of legal action. “Despite the (numerous) letters from lawyers, our “Additional investigation” into reality TV influencers, initially scheduled for last Thursday, will be broadcast this Sunday evening. Of course, not a comma has been changed”, said Tristan Waleckx on Twitter on Sunday morning. A few hours before the broadcast on France 2, we spoke with one of the directors of the investigation, Paul Labrosse.

LE FIGARO. – Have you had any feedback from disgruntled speakers since Thursday?
Paul LABROSSE. – Yes, this is something relatively common in this kind of investigation. The people who opened their doors to us, such as Milla Jasmine or the Tiktokeur couple Nina and Alexandre in Dubai, were very happy to welcome us. But after the shoot, once they saw that some questions they liked less than others and that we were going to tackle certain subjects that they didn’t want us to tackle, they tried to retract. Fortunately, in France, we have the right to information.

In particular, you broadcast a sequence where Magali Berdah expresses her dissatisfaction and asks that this moment not appear…
We are within our rights from the moment someone authorizes you to shoot at the moment T, answers your questions and spends several hours with you. Our interlocutors do not know in advance the questions we are going to ask them. Asking unexpected questions is part of investigative journalism and Magali Berdah’s reaction itself is a piece of information about her methods and the way she runs her business. It is not because she asks us not to broadcast this sequence that we are obliged to do so.

Did the company manager Shauna Events have any special requirements?
If we had listened to Magali Berdah, we would have had to submit the entire report to her to obtain her validation before broadcasting. Initially, she even wanted us to sign a document stating that she agreed to take part in the report on the condition that we show her the images and that she liked everything with the possibility for her to retract in the event of inconvenience. Many people still think that the press is just a means of communication that can be used, controlled and manipulated. However, it is not the case.

“After the shooting, Milla Jasmine refused that we exploit certain passages of our interview”

Paul Labrosse, director of “Complément d’Enquête”

Did the other stakeholders in your survey have the same requirements?
Milla Jasmine received us very kindly but, after the shooting, she refused that we exploit certain passages of our interview. It’s a little easy… If all the people who take part in investigative subjects choose what we are going to broadcast, we lose all editorial freedom, all journalistic distance and we just become organs of communication and promotion. Our job is to decipher, investigate and bring the information to the attention of the public.

How did the idea of ​​conducting this survey on the business of influencers come about?
This is a subject that we began to work on last December. My co-director, Rizlaine Sellika, was first interested to influencer Luna Skye who had serious health problems following clandestine injections of hyaluronic acid. She got in touch with her and started touring when she returned from the United States. From then on, the investigation started, we contacted Magali Berdah because she seemed essential to address more generally the subject of reality TV influencers. We also solicited for months his main competitor Wesley Nakache from the agency We-Events and he made us run in circles. The most important thing was to be able to decipher this ecosystem, to explain that these reality TV influencers are media controlled by large groups (Banijay and Satisfaction, editor’s note) who bought their agencies to be able to control everything. They can create influencers, monetize them through agencies, and boost their careers by casting them on their shows.

You show in your survey that agencies even go so far as to promote their own brands…
This is the extreme nature of this ecosystem, they want to master all the stages and the only one that escaped them was working with brands. To avoid wasting money, they have created their own brands which they promote themselves. There have been many complaints about products marketed in 2020, in particular that of cosmetics that we highlight in our survey. We reached out to regulators who felt overwhelmed by the number of influencers, brands and ephemeral product placements. It should be up to the agencies to better control the companies they work with.

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