With today’s decision, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main has prohibited an influencer and YouTuber from presenting pictures of herself on her Instagram account on her Instagram account, tagging accounts or products without these tagging these publications as advertising.

The facts of the crime

The applicant runs a publishing house.

The local defendant is an influencer and YouTuber. She maintains an Instagram channel and has over half a million followers. There she posted numerous pictures, mostly of herself, and linked these pictures to the Instagram accounts of the providers of the products and services shown in her posts. The posts are not identified as advertisements. In any case, in two accompanying texts, the respondent expressly thanks two product manufacturers on whose Instagram accounts she had linked for inviting her to two trips.

The applicant considered that the influencer was advertising prohibited by the chosen presentation of products and services on her Instagram account.

The Landgericht rejected an application for an omission in the interim injunction. This is the subject of the applicant’s complaint.

The decision

The complaint was successful before the OLG. The defendant acted unfairly, the OLG notes. It did not specify the commercial purpose of its commercial activities which actually existed; nor does the commercial purpose arise directly from the circumstances.

According to the OLG, the respondent’s Instagram account constitutes a business act; The

“Instagram posts […] initially served to support foreign companies”.

These are advertising designed to increase the sales of the products presented and to promote the image of the advertised manufacturer and its brand name or company identifier. It is common ground that the defendant is an influencer. In her posts, she presents herself not as an advertising figure, but as a private person who shares her life with others and is very authentic. By taging a hotel on her posts, for example, she advertises this hotel. The editorial contribution was also not related to this hotel. It also receives consideration for its advertising. This follows, for example, from the fact that she expressly thanked two companies for which she tagged in her posts for the travel invitations.

Account commercial

The respondent’s Instagram account should also be classified as commercial overall. That applies irrespective of whether the respondent received or expected consideration for each day. As the author of a book that ranks among the Spiegel online bestsellers, she uses her fame as an influencer to market her own products. As an influencer, she earns income by

“Products and also self-markets”,

stresses the OLG.

The defendant’s actions are also capable of:

‘to induce the consumer to perform a commercial act which he would not otherwise have taken’

finally, the OLG.

The prime example of an influencer?

It was sufficient for consumers to open websites on the basis of the posts, which made it possible to look more closely at a particular product. Consumers would be directed to the respective Instagram account of the manufacturers of the presented products.

“It is crucial that the respondent, as an influencer and thus as an advertising figure, motivates her followers to click on the “tags”,”

concludes by summarizing the OLG.

The decision cannot be challenged.

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