Product Placement

Interesting facts about the law.
Online marketing.

Digitalization and the Internet have changed a lot in the field of marketing. On the one hand, the spread of advertising had to be rethought through rapid diversification in the media offering. On the other hand, consumers have had the opportunity to bypass advertising in a targeted manner. Product placement is a solution approach pursued by influencers and content creators. Learn more about the legal situation in Germany about advertising practice in online marketing.

Product placement is, of course, not a novelty. Whether in the James Bond films of the 60s or the first music videos of the 80s – if you take a good look, you will discover carefully placed branded products everywhere. The manufacturers hope that these will be associated with famous figures of pop culture through product placement. In return, filmmakers and artists usually receive payment. This principle has not changed. However, the film heroes who are about to be hired have slowly but surely given way to influencers of all kinds, who are gathering young people of a specific age and interest groups in social networks who are just waiting to try out their idol’s latest product for themselves — a dream for every marketing department.

Incorrect or misleading product placement can quickly become a cost trap – which is why it is essential to receive optimal advice – DeSight Studio in its role as an advertising agency shows what matters.

Advertising must be identified as such
Some regulations must be observed if warnings and negative press are to be avoided. The State Treaty on Broadcasting (RStV), which applies to television programs and broadcasting produced elsewhere, provides guidance here. Here, product placements, as well as other advertising blocks, must be identified as such at the beginning and end of the format. Also, there is a ban on advertising in broadcast formats for children, in news programs, documentaries, and transmissions of religious services.

Product placement in online marketing also means that affected content must be marked to avoid a warning. Platforms frequently used by influencers, such as YouTube, offer their features through which a video can be identified as advertising content. Influencers can inquire with the platform operator whether such an option exists. If not, a message such as “The following video is supported by product placements” can be used to refer to the product placement. For the Twitter platform, some state media authorities recommend the Hashtag #advertising for identification.

Who does not mark risks surreptitious advertising
Depending on whether the affected influencers are bloggers, streamers, or providers of regular services understood as broadcasting, different institutions are responsible for monitoring the labeling obligation, such as the state media authorities. Also, competitors, consumer protection associations, or competition associations can also report infringements. Associations and media institutions have increasingly been targeting influencers and thus, online marketing, which has long been ignored, in recent years.

Avoid preparation and warnings
If your company is planning or already planning advertising campaigns with influencers, make sure that the contributions are sufficiently marked across platforms. Associations and state media authorities are useful contacts if you are wondering how the labeling should turn out.

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The Berufsverband der Rechtsjournalisten e.V. created this guest article and published by DeSight Studio GmbH. The BvDR registered association is the union of right journalists and attorneys from Germany, who publish legal contributions to most diverse topics on the portals,,, and