2. Advertising identification
2.1 Image/text (blog posts, image postings, stories, TikTok clips).
2.2 Video (YouTube, IGTV, on-demand videos)
2.3 Audio (podcasts)
3. Omission of the labeling requirement
4. Political advertising
6. Examples of advertising labeling
There is often confusion about whether and how social media posts should be labeled as advertising. This FAQ, differentiated according to the formats used (text/image, video, audio), is intended to provide assistance and clarity. The information is based on the current guidelines of the media authorities (as of June 2021), which are based on the advertising regulations of the Media State Treaty (MStV) and the Telemedia Act (TMG). The aim of the regulations is to make commercial content transparent for users. It should be noted that different labeling requirements apply to video and audio formats than to image/text formats, which is why the content in video, audio and text/image will be considered separately below.
This post will be guided by the most common scenarios in influencer marketing.
You can find the full guide and a comprehensive tagging matrix here.
Note: This is a help guide, but not legal advice. We assume no liability.
2. Advertising labeling
Only certain labeling is allowed, which varies depending on the medium. Terms like "infomercial", "advertorial", "PR sample" "powered by", "sponsored by", "promotion" or abbreviations like "AZ" and "ad" are not allowed. This also applies to "paid partnership with ...". The State Media Authorities do not consider this labeling to be sufficient without further references.
2.1 Image/text (blog posts, image posts, stories, TikTok clip)
If payment or consideration is made for publication or if this is linked to agreements/conditions, the content must be clearly legibly marked with "Anzeige" or "Werbung" at the beginning.
In the case of presentation of own products, if the own entrepreneurship is not clearly recognizable, this must be clearly legibly marked "Advertising" or "Advertisement" at the beginning of the contribution.
When naming discount codes / advertising links is immediately in the vicinity codes / links of the post must be clearly legibly marked with "Anzeige" or "Werbung".
In the case of affiliate links, an explanation with (*) is required in their immediate vicinity, which designates them as such and creates transparency.
If stories contain advertising, this must be marked at the beginning and on each story slide.
2.2 Video (Youtube, IGTV, on-demand videos).
If the product plays the main role and the influencer receives payment/counter-performance or the publication is linked to an agreement, the term "promotional video" or "advertisement" must be clearly legibly displayed throughout the video or the advertising sequence.
The previous point also applies if the products in question are the influencer´s own products, without the own entrepreneurship being clear.
If the product plays a minor role and the influencer receives payment or other consideration, this must be marked with "Supported by product placement" or "Supported by <product name>" at the beginning of the video. The same applies if the publication is linked to an agreement and the value of the product is over €100.
For discount codes, clearly audible/readable "Advertising" or "Advertisement" in its immediate temporal/spatial proximity.
For advertising links as well as affiliate links see the explanation at image/text.
For videos longer than 90 seconds, any continuous advertising character should be marked with "permanent advertising" or "advertising video" at the beginning and during the video.
2.3 Audio (podcasts)
In case of payment, other consideration, or in case the publication is linked to an agreement and the product plays the main role, there must be either the announcement "commercial" at the beginning of the sequence or a jingle used only for the announcement of the commercial.
The same applies to the use of discount codes.
If the product takes a minor role in the audio format and payment or other consideration is made, this must be made clear at the beginning with "Supported by product placement" or "Supported by <product name>". The same applies if the publication is linked to an agreement and the value is over €100.
3. Omission of the labeling obligation
Contributions about products, which are published from own motivation without commercial incentive of third parties. This includes, for example, the presentation of products with advantages and disadvantages (haul videos, reviews), but also a positive product presentation from own motivation without advertising intent.
Contributions/presentations of own products, if the own entrepreneurship is clear.
In the case of links/tags to friends, sources, or location information, if there is no underlying agreement.
For reposts of content with a commercial background, if there is a cooperation or no own commercial interest.
But beware: In the case of links to online shops, courts have often found an "advertising surplus" even if there has been no consideration by the brand.
4. Political advertising
Political advertising in images/text must be clearly marked at the beginning of the post in which interest the post was created (e.g. "financed by"). Political advertising in broadcast-like telemedia, e.g. on YouTube or in podcasts, is not permitted.
Sponsoring is understood to mean financial support for the respective contribution. In the case of videos and audio formats, a brief mention is possible at the beginning, additionally before and after the commercial break as well as at the end. For the sponsor, the mention in the respective content may only be image-promoting and may not include an appeal to buy. As soon as a reference is made to purchase opportunities or discount codes, there is no longer a sponsor reference, but already advertising.
6. Examples of advertising identification
The post is clearly marked at the beginning with the wording "Anzeige" so that it is obvious that it is an advertisement.
This story clearly states that it is an advertising product placement. This was also clearly marked on the top right with the wording "Werbung".
The video was clearly marked as an advertising video at the beginning, as shown by the note at the top right with the wording "Werbung".
In this video, the product only takes a supporting role, which is why it was marked at the beginning with the note "Untersützt durch Produktplatzierung".
For specific questions or uncertainties, please contact the respective contact person or firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
On Reachbird, all postings must first be approved by the customer before they are published on social media. The Influencer will be informed of any missing advertising label in this process. However, if the advertising label is still missing after publishing, the influencer is responsible.