Affiliate links must be marked – otherwise sneaky advertising!

When I reported on influencers and streamers, I keep hearing that courts would treat new media unfairly and that veteran magazines would be able to operate and run unheard of.

A recent ruling by the Higher Regional Court of Dresden shows that this is not correct. The latter condemned the magazine Finanztip for stealth advertising for the use of affiliate links or, more precisely, for omitting unmarked commercial content and misleading information.

The comparison calculator for electricity and gas on the online presence of Finanztip shows offers from energy providers, which are provided with affiliate links, for which the magazine receives commission as the provider of the calculator, if a consumer receives new energy supply contracts. Because the website did not sufficiently make the commercial content known, the OLG classified this as an unfair commercial act.

The District Court of Leipzig dismissed the action, citing media privilege. This was collected by the Higher Regional Court and imposed the same obligations on the operator, also as a non-profit limited liability company, as all media operators.

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