German Language Blog

What is Schleichwerbung in Germany? Posted by on Mar 22, 2019 in Uncategorized

Social Media has boomed the past few years, and with platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and blogs a lot of people have managed to create their dream career. In Germany they have tightened the laws on Schleichwerbung.

What is Schleichwerbung?
Schleichwerbung translates to sneaky advert. Schleichen = to sneak and Werbung = advert. A lot of influencers (a person on a social media platform with a lot of followers) get given gifts or even get paid to post about a certain object and if they don’t write “Werbung” it is considered as Schleichwerbung.

What social media do you use?

The problem with Schleichwerbung
It is very hard to differentiate if a post just happens to have a product in it, or if it is product placement. In recent news a Promi (celebrity) has been sued for Schleichwerbung as she posted a photo of her son with his favourite Kuscheltier (stuffed animal). This was considered as Schleichwerbung for the stuffed animal, that she was secretly advertising it without saying it was an advert.
The stuffed animal was a present from her family when she gave birth to her son, so she wasn’t paid to post it and it wasn’t gifted to her from the company. The problem is, it is very hard to prove that it wasn’t paid for/gifted, unless you keep the reciept for every single thing you buy!

What to do to avoid Schleichwerbung
Whether paid or not, it is always better to be on the safe side and write Werbung in whatever you are posting. Writing “sponsored” or “advert” in English is also not considered enough as it has to be transparent for the readers (which are German). If you write any hashtags of a brand and don’t write advert it could also be considered as Schleichwerbung.

Vocabulary list for this post:
Schleichwerbung            Sneaky advert
verklagen                         to sue
Promi                                celebrity
das Geschenk                  a gift
gesponsert                       sponsored
bezahlte Post                  paid post
das Kuscheltier              the stuffed animal

Schleichwerbung rules have always been around but recently they have been getting stricter in Germany. Do you know of any similar laws in your country?


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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. Bhawna:

    Sehr informativ . Vielen dank !