Blogger vs. Zalando: “Deeply shaken in my belief in fairness”

Berit Müller blogs for years about fashion, lifestyle and interior – with a stable reach and loyal user base. But now her blog “The Shopazine” is over – the fashion expert and mother of two has said goodbye with a post that is causing quite a stir on the Internet.

“Right now I’m lacking strength, motivation and the financial means to continue my blog. Honestly, I also feel the desire for this job and the industry pretty much gone, “writes Müller as the last sentence of the post” Game Over “.

The background to Berit Müller’s contribution dates back to 2013: the fashion blogger was in the distribution list of many PR agencies and fashion companies and also worked with press releases – for example from Zalando. In November of this year, the company sent Müller an e-mail announcing his new collection “Eleonora Carisi” with a request for a mention.


Attached: Pictures of the collection – without reference to limited rights of use. Müller published the pictures on her blog, unaware that their licensing was limited to six months and would expire two months after the collection was released. In 2018, the blogger was warned by the photographer who had provided the pictures to Zalando.

Müller weighed himself to safety and asked the company for advice. In the blog post she writes: “I have not deleted them directly from the server, because in a short phone call the former Zalando PR contact person assured me that I should not worry and the matter would be clarified, which unfortunately did not happen As a result of this decision, a lengthy story started rolling, resulting in an action for breach of an injunction against my company and a court hearing scheduled for the end of last year. ”

After a comparison, Müller had to pay a four-figure amount.

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What Zalando says about this case

A spokeswoman for Zalando told LEAD how the company typically works in terms of usage restrictions: “We’re adding the metadata when shipping press materials, so our partners do not need to proactively check on usability, which is not the case in this specific case We apologize, but we would like to point out that media representatives should not assume that pictures may be used for an indefinite period of time. ”

Which service life is “customary”?

A note with which Berit Müller disagrees: She wishes Zalando “the insight that it is anything but customary in the industry to delete its content after half a year from the network,” said the blogger in an interview with LEAD. And: “If I had known directly what it is all about, and if I had not been told to clarify the matter, I would probably have done very differently.”

Knowingly, companies or agencies tossed the risk on the press, Müller also wrote in her blog post: “We […] are drawn into such stories, are warned and in the end even have to pay a lot of money in the context of a business relationship of the companies they benefited the most, they deliberately accepted warnings from the blogs. ”

Zalando, however, sees the course of history differently: “To our knowledge, she did not take a part of the offending pictures after signing a declaration of discontinuance in 2018 – contrary to their own assurance to the photographer – and therefore had to pay a penalty to the photographer.”

word agains word

According to the spokeswoman Zalando, who has been “reprimanded by the same photographer for other reasons” and is currently involved in an ongoing legal dispute, she intends to take action in the future to prevent cases like these – for herself and her partners.

For example, “not only did we work with the photographer, but we also optimized our processes, such as checking and adjusting contracts for image rights.”

Berit Müller will not continue her blog, too deep is the loss of confidence in the industry: “The thing has deeply shaken me in my moral foundations and in the belief in fairness.”

After all, as the blogger LEAD says, she has received many encouraging responses to her farewell post: “After a really dark and pretty nerve-wracking time, it’s great to get only positive reactions and great words.”

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