Research about advertisments on social media

One of the most discussed topics in the last time on social media had been for sure the court decision of a german court about the obligatory of labeling advertisments on Instagram, blogs, Facebook and more. As a blogger and law student I was super interested in this court decision, because it means that many bloggers have to change their way of sharing ads on social media. I had the impression that nobody really knows which way the right one is for labeling, so I started a little research for myself and wanted to let you know about that.

Note: I don´t take any liability for the informations in this blogpost, because that´s just what I found out and thought that maybe some of you could also be interested, but I am no expert for this court decision or how it needs to be implemented. So if any of this content is wrong, please let me know and I will change that.

How bloggers handled that before

I have already known some bloggers before, who always marked their advertisments in a very transparent way, so that every person knew that the post was sponsored. But there are still bloggers, many of them are having a lot of followers, who just added the # ad, which is now not enough anymore, as the german court decided. The court said that not enough people would read the huge amount of hashtags to see that a specific post was sponsored by a brand and that it would not be transparent enough. 

The court desicion

After doing research for a while, because I want to do everything legally and take care of everything which is necessary when you integrate ads on social media, I found out that the court only said that it would be necessary to mark ads in a way, that an average follower/ blog reader can definitly see that a brand paid you for that post, but they didn´t say in which concrete way or how the labeling needs to be done. The labeling should lead to more transparency when it comes to ads, because that means that bloggers get money for a posting most of the time. The german institue for media published that an ad should be marked at the begining with "advertisment" or #advertisment and that they can not recommend to use hashtags like #ad, #sponsored by, #powered by, at the moment.

How I handle that

That´s why I decided to mark all posts, where a product is shown on Instagram, before the brand is mentioned/ tagged, with this : *advertisment*, so that I can not do anything wrong. When you now click on my Instagram posts you will find this label in many posts, even if I bought a product myself, because I shared a picture where you can see the brand and maybe one of you could buy this product because I showed it on Instagram and told you how I like it.
I will handle it like that as long as it is not uniquely defined if it is also necessary when you bought something yourself. That does mean that I will additionally tell you if I got a product for free/ get paid for a post + add * advertisment*. On my blog you can find every blogpost which is sponsored in the category "Cooperations" and I also mention at the end of the blogpost if I got a product for free or got paid for the post.

Do you dislike posts which are advertisments? How important do you think the labeling is?
Would love to read your opinion about it in the comments!

Yours, Nina


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