Thursday 14 December 2017

UK Advertising authority releases new set of advertising guidelines for vloggers

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

People who make their living creating videos on YouTube and Facebook will now be held accountable to a new set of advertising standards created especially to deal with sponsored videos on those mediums.

The UK authority has outlined instances in which vloggers and online video makers must be clear about working with, or for, a company or brand.

The rules stop just short of introducing a paid product placement logo on videos, but video makers must be clear in title, description and content about the nature of the promotion.

The rules say that video creators must "be labelled as an advertisement feature" where the content of the video is "controlled by the marketer, not the vlogger, and is written in exchange for payment (monetary or free items)".

The Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap)  created the rules as a response to a landmark ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) last year, relating to a series of videos by UK vloggers which promoted the 'Oreo' brand.

The 'Oreo Challenge' videos began with a number of UK vloggers and then took off, with YouTubers around the world completing the challenge, resulting in massive exposure for the company. However, the ASA ruled that the original videos were in breach of advertising standards as it was 'not clear' to the viewer that Oreo had paid for the content.

The CAP rules extend to vloggers advertising their own products and merchandise, which they are required to make the viewer aware of "before they begin watching", via the video title.

Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, said in a statement that it was "simply not fair" if viewers are "being advertised to and not made aware of that fact."

The guidelines include some leniency, however - vloggers who are sent free items by brands and where there is absolutely no editorial or content control by said brand can continue to feature those products natively without violating the guidelines.

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