This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
Welcome to Reed Smith's viewpoints — timely commentary from our lawyers on topics relevant to your business and wider industry. Browse to see the latest news and subscribe to receive updates on topics that matter to you, directly to your mailbox.
| less than a minute read

Influencer marketing: the time for guidance is over, now it's enforcement time

On 28 February 2023, the umbrella organization of the 14 German media authorities (die medienanstalten) published the results of a transparency check (only in German) that they had conducted in relation to the labeling of social media content as marketing / advertising. In Germany, such labeling is legally required in order to allow consumers to distinguish between journalistic and commercial activities. In the past, die medienanstalten have published respective guidance (only in German) with best practices for influencers, brand ambassadors and organizations that cooperate with them.

For their transparency check, die medienanstalten focused on Instagram stories, TikTok clips and Facebook posts, particularly on so called brand stories. Brand stories look like journalistic content but are in fact advertisement in form of advertorials. According to the transparency check, only 14% of interviewees recognized such content as marketing and almost 50% regarded it as journalistic information. According to the interviewees, the latter was the case since they "know" and "trusted" the publisher.

These figures are regarded alarming by die medienanstalten and they thus made it clear that they are now going to enforce the statutory requirements.

Having raised awareness in recent years of the influencer industry, which is still quite young but has since become increasingly important both monetarily and socially, we are now consistently enforcing advertising rules on the web.


social media, marketing, advertising, enforcement