[co-author: Efe Kökel]
Social media platforms have acquired appreciable worth in the area of on-line promoting in new decades and triggered controversial authorized issues. The German Federal Courtroom of Justice (BGH) lately dealt with these in a series of decisions on influencer marketing and advertising and established specific needs on labelling as promotion in social media posts. The Greater District Court docket of Frankfurt a. M. has now also dominated on promotion labelling issues on Internet platforms (judgment of 19 May possibly 2022 – scenario no.: 6 U 56/21) and adopted the BGH case legislation in its judgment. This evolving circumstance law will most likely lead to an progressively exact lawful framework that could profit influencers and other parties included.
The plaintiff is a publisher of print and online magazines, supplying advertising and marketing versus payment. The plaintiff also operates a user profile on the social media platform Instagram. The defendant is an influencer with a consumer profile on Instagram reaching about 50 percent a million followers. The grounds for the dispute were posts by the defendant on Instagram in which she presented a bundle of e-textbooks truly worth € 1,300 dealing with vegan diet and possessing been manufactured offered to her free of demand by the service provider of the e-books. The defendant did not receive any immediate economical remuneration. She connected the accounts of the delivering organization with so-called “faucet tags” without having building this recognizable as promoting. The District Court docket of Frankfurt a. M. (LG Frankfurt a. M.) purchased the defendant to stop and desist from posting the contents in query. The attractiveness of the defendant was rejected by the Better District Court docket of Frankfurt a. M. (OLG Frankfurt a. M.).
The OLG Frankfurt a. M. upheld the judgment of the LG Frankfurt a. M.
Very first, it rejected the defendant’s objection that the plaintiff’s cease-and-desist statements had been abusive beneath Segment 8c (2) of the German Unfair Competitiveness Act (UWG). Pertaining to the volume of the worth in dispute claimed in the plaintiff’s warning letters (€ 100,000), the court specially emphasized that this sum was not disproportionate due to the financial value of the action of influencers with a extensive access.
In addition, the court docket assumed a professional act in favor of the defendant and the 3rd-get together business which experienced delivered the e-guides to the defendant. The OLG justified its assumption that there was a commercial act in favor of the 3rd-get together organization by stating that the article experienced to be categorized as a “prototypical situation of advertising surplus”, as it did not comprise any content-linked discussion of the products. The reference to the original selling price of the merchandise and to a price cut also indicated “traditional merchandise promotion”.
The courtroom considered the promotion of the third-celebration organization by the article to be an unfair commercial act pursuant to Portion 5a (6) UWG (which is now since May possibly 2022 regulated in the new version of Part 5a (4) sentence 1 UWG). The courtroom dominated that the typical client was not capable to identify the professional relationship in between the defendant and the 3rd-party enterprise, as the defendant did not sufficiently clarify these kinds of a connection in its write-up and therefore violated section 6 (1) no. 1 TMG of the German Telemedia Act (TMG) as perfectly as segment 22 (1) sentence 1 of the German Condition Media Treaty (MStV). Even so, the court docket ruled that there was no unfair competition in the defendant’s write-up insofar as she promoted her have enterprise, considering that the visitor of the account would be able to realize that the defendant posted the products and solutions to maximize the worth of her personal image in her perform as an influencer and thus for commercial purposes.
The OLG centered its assessment about the professional act as effectively as the concern of unfair levels of competition on the current scenario law of the BGH on influencer advertising and marketing (see our write-up on the Influencer circumstance legislation of the BGH). Immediately after a lengthy time period of lawful uncertainty, a uniform scenario regulation appears to have developed in the area of influencer and social media advertising and marketing, which should really offer extra certainty for all events involved.
At the same time we will be checking developments intently as it stays to be viewed no matter if and to what extent the new version of Area 5a (4) UWG, which not long ago arrived into drive, will have an impression on this small business subject. This regulation now has a provision on industrial interaction as properly as a rebuttable presumption to the detriment of the person performing in the class of its enterprise.