Germany Rules That Paid Influencers Must Label Posts as Advertisements

Germany’s Federal Court of Justice ruled on Sep. 9 that social media influencers must label posts that contain paid promotions from companies as advertisements.

Influencers must clearly state in their post if they had been paid to promote a product, according to a verdict of Germany’s top court.

The ruling came after Berlin-based Association of Social Competition (VSW) filed charges against three influencers for violating competition law with alleged hidden advertising.

Fitness influencer Luisa-Maxime Huss was banned by the court for promoting a brand of jam on Instagram with a sponsored link, without marking her post as advertising.

The court clarified, however, that influencers are not obliged to mark posts as adverts if they did not receive anything in return for promoting a product.

The court dismissed two other lawsuits filed by VSW against influencers Cathy Hummels and Leonie Hanne, ruling that there were no proof that their Instagram posts were sponsored.

Last year, Instagram pledged to Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority to prevent hidden advertising on its app by requiring users to disclose paid partnerships in their posts.

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