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100 Years of Haribo & "Wetten, dass..." Revival - Products on TV under the Interstate Media Trea-ty

At the beginning of the year, ZDF announced big news. The popular German TV show "Wetten, dass...?" will be on TV again in 2022 and 2023. This is particularly interesting for potential advertising partners. With almost 14 million viewers and a market share of 47.5%, the 2021 anniversary edition of "Wetten, dass...?" was one of the biggest show events on TV in recent years. It impressively showed that the "campfire potential" of linear television still exists.

To coincide with the return of "Wetten, dass..." host Thomas Gottschalk in German TV, his former advertising partners are also celebrating their anniversary. The popular Haribo gummy bears are 100 years old. The favorite German candy is also still associated with "Wetten, dass..." today. For a long time it could be found in a bowl on the table around which celebrities gathered. It even was because Gold Bears were regularly eaten on the show that Haribo founder Hans Riegel first became aware of Thomas Gottschalk as a testimonial.

What are the requirements for products on TV?

According to Haribo, however, it never paid for the placement of the famous bowl on the "Wetten, dass..." table. As soon as any renumeration is provided in return for such product placement, strict guidelines apply. If broadcasters or advertising partners do not comply with those guidelines it is illegal surreptitious advertising.

Haribo later became a sponsor of "Wetten, dass...". By this time, however, the gummy bears had also disappeared from the table. ZDF and its advertising partner thus adhered to the requirements of the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty at the time, which, however, were not always easy to follow because of their wording.

What are the requirements for product placement under the Interstate Media Treaty?

Even under the current Interstate Media Treaty, the boundaries between illegal surreptitious advertising and permissible product placement are fluid and still offer a great need for advice for advertisers and media broadcasters. However, product placement in broadcasting is at least no longer illegal in principle and is only permitted in exceptional cases. In fact, product placement is now permissible in principle, as long as it does not take place in news or children's programs, for example.

However, the editorial responsibility regarding the placement of the product in the program must remain with the broadcaster. Furthermore, the product placement must not directly encourage the purchase of the product. Furthermore, the product must not be given too much prominence in the program. Appropriate references to the product placement at the beginning and end of the program and after each advertising break are mandatory.

Product placement guidelines also for Netflix, YouTube, TikTok & Co.

The advertising power of product placement is enormous. Whether in films and on television, in YouTube videos or Netflix series - the presentation of products in media is one of the most popular forms of advertising. Accordingly, under the Interstate Media Treaty, it is no longer just broadcasters and streaming providers who are obliged to comply with the rules on product placement, but also video-sharing service providers such as YouTube or TikTok. Regardless of whether an audience of millions is on YouTube or on television, one thing remains the same - product placement remains permissible only under strict conditions.

Author: Dr. Anna Kellner