During her free time, she does archery at the “SG Stern” in Stuttgart. Her professional focus at the Mercedes-Benz Group is on advertising law. What can be done legally wrong in commercials? That's what Christine Gräve tells us in an interview.
Hello, please introduce yourself briefly.
My name is Christine Gräve. I was born in Rhineland, studied Law in Trier and Cologne, and completed my legal clerkship in Cologne and Brussels. After my second state examination, my career took me to Stuttgart. First I worked at a large law firm, but then I moved to todays Mercedes-Benz Mobility. My current tasks revolve around advertising law at the Group. I also have two rather unusual hobbies. Archery and ballet.
You first worked in a law firm and then decided to move to the Group, why?
At the time, it was about trying something new and it proved to be a good decision for me. In a group like Mercedes-Benz you are offered a lot, especially in terms of development opportunities and diversity. It’s easy to change roles within our departments, and is even desired. Working in other technical areas outside of the legal department is also possible. In a law firm, on the other hand, you generally specialize in a specific field of law and it’s difficult to break away from that. Foreign travel is very rare in a law firm as well. A further advantage of the company, which I love, is its family friendliness. In the near future I’ll be having a baby, and it is reassuring to know that Mercedes-Benz offers great childcare and lots of flexibility when scheduling working hours.
Where did you have your foreign assignment?
In Melbourne! I worked for five months in the legal department there and was involved in a group project. Working in a multicultural team in Australia was great fun and I learned a lot about vehicle distribution and the everyday challenges of our national company - the change of perspective was a valuable experience. The working atmosphere there was much more informal and relaxed, which doesn’t mean that less work was done. Quite the contrary, my colleagues were very dedicated, but somehow more relaxed. I’d like to keep that in my everyday work back in Germany.
You’ve told us that you are responsible for advertising law. What does that involve?
My role involves advising the communications and sales & marketing departments on all aspects of advertising law, for example on copyright or press laws. We also support campaigns to launch new models. This includes all feasible advertising and communication measures, such as traditional print adverts, press releases, content for the Mercedes-Benz website, social media activities, or ads on YouTube. The focus of our advice is on prevention.
What legal mistakes can people make, for example, in advertising?
We must provide certain mandatory information, such as CO2 labeling, if we show specific vehicle models. Also, there must be no misleading information which could be misunderstood by the consumer. You also have to be careful when making leading position claims and comparisons with competitors. These are just a couple of examples.
Are there other issues that you deal with?
Yes, we provide advice on sponsoring and brand ambassador contracts, for example in motor sport. We also look after the Mercedes-Benz Group’s art collection.
What profile should applicants for this department have?
The main prerequisite is a good understanding of law, of course. For our department in particular, you need an affinity for marketing and media issues and social media. The ability to make decisions and the ability to work in a team are a big advantage. Enthusiasm for our products is a plus, although detailed product knowledge is not required, as you can learn this on the job.
What does Mercedes-Benz stand for in your opinion?
International! Innovative! Great vehicles!