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Vloggers Must Say if they’re Being Paid

The Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap) and the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) have issued comprehensive new guidance for vloggers (video bloggers) regarding videos that promote or feature products.

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The new rules mean that vloggers must make it clear if they have been paid to feature and therefore market a product. The suggestion is that the vlogger can do this by either adding text to their video clarifying that it’s a sponsored video, or mentioning it on film.

The Cap guidelines also include advice for businesses. If you pay a vlogger or YouTube star to market a product, you will have a responsibility to make sure that any resulting video is clear in its message that it’s an advert, paid for by you.

Of course, if you send a product to a vlogger for free, and then they decide to talk about it, this doesn’t have to be marked as an advert, as long as you don’t have any editorial control over the content.

Using YouTube as a marketing tool via vloggers is a growing phenomenon. Teenagers are more and more drawn to the site and society is becoming ever more digital. Advertising through videos which are shared on multiple platforms may well work for your business, but consumers must be informed when what they are viewing is an advert and not a private opinion.

You must make sure that you adhere to the ASA and Cap rules. In 2014 five videos that featured Oreos were removed from the YouTube website after the ASA rules that they misled viewers; it wasn’t made clear that the videos were part of a larger marketing campaign.

No matter what form of social media you choose to market your business, you must make sure you are clear and that viewers know that they are being targeted with marketing. If you would like more information you may find another of our blogs of interest - Fake Online Reviews Under Investigation by the CMA.

If your organisation uses, or is considering marketing via social media, you may wish to get legal advice to make sure you are adhering to the various marketing regulations and that your contracts are compliant and effective. Our team at Slater and Gordon have many years’ experience dealing with all aspects of business law and are available on freephone 0800 916 9052 or contact us online and we will call you.

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