Social media influencers must label sponsored posts as ads—court rules

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Image Credit: Architectural Design

A federal court in Germany has ruled that social media influencers should label all posts they received money for as ads. The ruling, which only affects posts that have been paid for by brands was given on Thursday in cases affecting three influencers on Instagram.

Influencers who boast of thousands of followers on Facebook-owned Instagram earn huge fees from brands to promote their products and services. Reuters reports that the court, however, dismissed a case brought against a television presenter and influencer Cathy Hummels. Hummels’ post about a stuffed toy had led to people to the manufacturer’s site. The court ruled that she was not obliged to label her post as ad since she received no payment for it.

In 2020, Instagram had reached an agreement with Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority [CMA] to clampdown on hidden ads by influencers on its platform.

Followers of popular influencers in Germany will now be informed if a post from any of them is sponsored or not. New Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo who is the sportsman with the highest number of followers on Instagram may have to abide by this ruling [at least in Germany].

Ronaldo earns nearly $1 million per paid post on Instagram. He also has the second-highest income from Instagram-related revenue at $23.3 million. In 2020, the Manchester United forward became the first human to hit 200 million followers on Instagram. What that means is that he has added some 50 million followers in the last one year.

On Twitter, Ronaldo enjoys a huge followership—the Portuguese captain boasts some 90.2 million followers. His figures on the social media including Facebook are scary, and no wonder is regarded as one of the most influential sports personalities on earth.

In 2018, HopperHQ published the list of top celebrity influencers on Instagram—and names of popular sports [soccer] personalities made the cut. Top on the list was Cristiano Ronaldo who switched club from Real Madrid in Spain to Juventus in Italy the same year.

Ronaldo, then 33, had featured in the last FIFA World Cup in Russia topped the list, earning a staggering $750,000 per post made by brands on his Instagram page. At the time, he had 133 million followers on Instagram.

Ronaldo’s top of the spot ranking did not come as a surprise, but same cannot be said for Neymar da Silva Santos Junior popularly known as Neymar—the Brazilian who plays for PSG of France edged out PSG’s Messi to take the second spot. Neymar with 101 million followers on the picture-sharing app, came second earning $600,000 per post on his official Instagram page.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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