The Advertising Standards Authority has warned that YouTubers need to make clear when the videos they create are paid-for promotions. The comments were made by the ASA, Britian’s agency for regulating advertising standards authoritatively, after a BBC journalist brought YouTube videos to their attention where the relationship between presenter and product was unclear. Given recent hullabaloos over disclosure in videogame YouTuber land, this is worth knowing about.
Talking to the BBC – in a story that is adorable for its use of “video bloggers” and “vloggers” – Lynsay Taffe from the ASA noted that, “Brands and vloggers now have to make it very clear, before you click on a video, that it’s a promotional video.”
This is just a re-statement of rules already in place, but it’s interesting because until now most regulatory bodies haven’t scrutinized videos posted to YouTube. This has led to conditions where many videogame YouTubers don’t flag promotional content at all, and those that do frequently put the note in the text description where it’s easy to miss. The need to have it displayed before users click on the video would suggest any such notice would need to appear in the video’s title or thumbnail image.
Eurogamer note that the videos the complaint was filed against were advertisements for Oreo cookies, and that the particular offenders have since been modified to make clearer their purpose as advertisement rather than editorial content. The ASA also say however that they’ll be monitoring YouTube videos more closely in future, which could obviously have consequences for a number of UK YouTubers working within videogames.
Here is a YouTube video wot I like: