Saturday, January 28, 2012

Is FC Bayern Munchen Guilty of Like-Gating?

FC Bayern Munchen recently created a public relations own goal with its social media usage that may have legal consequences. A couple of days ago, Bayern Munchen announced on its website they had agreed to sign a 'spectacular name' and then directed fans to listen to the announcement live on the club's Facebook page. However, in order to listen to the announcement the Facebook user had to first "Like" the page.

There was no announcement of the signing of a "spectacular name". Instead, Bayern Munchen's GM Christian Nerlinger appeared in a video that contained the fans' own Facebook profile photo along with their name on a Bayern Munchen shirt. Many fans were not amused and complained loudly across multiple social media platforms.

If Bayern Munchen was located in the United States the National Advertising Standards Board and/or the Federal Trade Commission may have investigated them for "Like-Gating". Like-Gating occurs when a marketer uses misleading means to inflate the number of Facebook Likes. It appears that Bayern Munchen utilized a misleading advertising message to increase its number of Facebook Likes.

The bottom line is that sports organizations must be very careful when implementing social media marketing campaigns. There are major legal implications with every single social media marketing promotion.

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at

Copyright 2012 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.Link