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#FreedomOfTagging: Influencer and the VSW

This post is also available in: Deutsch

Currently, the topic is up-to-date again in the problem area Influencer Marketing. This time it concerns Instagram influencer Vanessa Blumenthal, who continues to be in a legal battle with the notorious Social Competition Association.

The topic here, too, is the question of whether the tagging and linking of localities and companies must be labelled as advertising, even if there was no consideration in the specific post to the influencer.

While Blumenthal believes that an Instagram post also has private aspects and is not all advertising, the VSW sees it differently and finds that the influencer’s entire social media appearance is commercial and therefore every post is marked accordingly. Should.

This is not to be dismissed out of hand, especially when one considers the enormous influence that influencers can now exert. The District Court of Berlin did not agree with the influencer Vreni Frost, but with the VSW. However, the courts avoid the problem of why and how normal journalistic publications have the freedom to test computer games or other products, for example, without having to “tag” each video due to potential advertising.

The difference, however, is likely to lie in the concrete design of a social media appearance. Can one start from journalism? Do other content show independence? What frequency do you have, what kind of posts/content and what does the other marketing look like? Legal advice is an influencer, in this currently very confusing market, and this legal new territory, very advisable.

This is particularly true if, at some point, it has decided to give in by means of a declaration of injunction. Often enough, unneeded streamers and influencers get on their feet with the issue of “core-equal” infringement, and then the dispute rekindles with other sums due to required breaches of contract. One can be curious how the Koblenz judges position themselves now.



Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel

Marian Härtel is a lawyer and entrepreneur specializing in copyright law, competition law and IT/IP law, with a focus on games, esports, media and blockchain.


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