A guide to running promotions in Germany
Here are some of our top tips when running a promotion in Germany!
German advertising is regulated by law – the state provides a framework for fair competition and ensures that advertisers are not misleading or harming consumers. Additionally, advertisers and media agencies promote good standards to avoid stricter legislation and voluntarily follow a code of conduct for their industry which is monitored by the German Advertising Standards Council, the Deutscher Werberat. Here are some of the things to watch out for:
- You can’t use data collected through entry for marketing purposes e.g. adding them to your newsletter recipients.
- A winners’ name or other personal data may not be published without his or her consent.
- All marketing via distant communication services (except post) require a double opt in, normally done by obtaining consent and then requiring the person to click on a confirmatory link.
- In general, there is no restriction on the maximum value of the prizes. However, a prize which has a very high value compared to the organiser’s products or services on offer may lead to a categorisation of the promotion as inadmissible “exaggerated attraction” (übertriebenes Anlocken).
- Prizes may not be so valuable (having regard to the promoted products or services) that participants feel a psychological pressure to buy the products.
- If you need to ask for a contribution fee (e.g. for packaging and postage) you don’t need to breakdown what that fee includes. However, consumers would expect the value of the gift and the contribution to be at least fairly equal.
- If a contribution is required, the item cannot be considered free or a gift.
- Any breach of the German Act on Unfair Competition, could result in a competitor or consumers’ association applying for a preliminary injunction against the organiser in order to prohibit the violation. Under German law, a preliminary injunction may be granted without an oral hearing and in very urgent cases even within hours.