is the practice of using one's influence in government or connections with persons in authority to obtain favours or preferential treatment for another, usually in return for payment
. Also called traffic of influence
or trading in influence
. In fact, influence peddling per se
is not necessarily illegal, as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) has often used the modified term "undue influence peddling" to refer to illegal acts of lobbying.
However, influence peddling bears the stench of corruption that may delegitimise democratic politics with the general public.
This crime is punishable in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Great Britain[clarification needed]