New guidelines for video bloggers (vloggers) who enter advertising partnerships with brands have been published today.
YouTubers are encouraged to flag advertising content to viewers and clarify when featuring products from companies.
UK advertising watchdog the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap) published eight guidelines on advertising-related scenarios so vloggers are clear what is permitted in line with the UK advertising code.
This follows a ruling last year by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which stated that vloggers need to make it clear to viewers when they are paid to promote products after several vlogs were found to be misleading.
Shahriar Coupal, Director of the Committee of Advertising Practice, said: “Our guidance will give vloggers greater confidence that they’re sticking to the rules which in turn will help maintain the relationship and trust they’ve built with their followers”.
Cap’s guidelines include:
- Advert vlogs: At the beginning of the video, YouTubers must make it clear if they’ve been paid by a brand either through verbal statement or text labelling e.g. “Sponsored by…” or “Advert”
- Online marketing: Brands collaborating with vloggers must make clear to viewers there is a collaboration between the vlogger and a brand
- Vlogger’s own products: The video title needs to make clear that the video is promoting the vlogger’s own products
- Sponsors: When a brand sponsors a vlogger to create a video, they no longer have control of the content
- Free items: Brands can send free items to vloggers but with no control over the content on the vlog
- Commercial breaks: Videos need to specify when the ad starts e.g. through onscreen text saying “ad”, “ad feature”, the vlogger holding a sign or the vlogger explaining they’ve been paid to promote the product
- Product placement: On-screen text should include “ad”, “product placement” or holding up a sign to explain that the vlogger has been paid to talk about the product. Vloggers are also encouraged to add in the description box a message e.g. “this video includes product placement which is indicated by (…)”
- Editorial: While it’s not necessary to label products, vloggers could add text in the description box e.g. “this video includes advertising for my new (…)”