back to article ASA raps vloggers over undisclosed ads

The Advertising Standards Authority has rapped the knuckles of video bloggers for making it unclear when they’re actually recommending something and when they’ve been paid to hawk it to unsuspecting YouTubers. Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now, are big business these days with stars like Blighty’s Zoella …

  1. Halfmad Silver badge

    BBC got involved..

    shortly after starting to target the same audience with their own youtube style site. Coincidence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC got involved..

      BBC complaining that someone else is getting kickbacks? Gimme a break..

      RCJ and his unlimited supply of free Apple stuff in exchange for nice words, that would be my bet,.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BBC got involved..

        The same BBC who advertise only their own magazine for 3 minutes between each programme?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: BBC got involved..

          Yeah that's them, the ones that have 10 minute breaks between shows where they try and sell you dvd box sets. Oh wait, no, that only happens in my head.... That'll be where I saw the 3 minute magazine ads too.

    2. PJI

      Re: BBC got involved..

      I never realised that poor, oppressed USA biscuit makers needed rabid defence by British commenters.

      I think one can not blame an organisation, whether called, BBC or NHS or Shell, for promoting its own facilities or products. Somehow, I managed to understand that the advertisements with "BBC" on them may be connected to the broadcaster. But perhaps I am especially percipient and clever.

      But so-called vlogs that purport to be independent and are actually paid to push, for instance, an American biscuit manufacturer's wares, seem to me a totally different and dishonest matter. However, I realise it may take some intellectual ability to distinguish the difference.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    And this will apply to print

    The new "StarTrek 17 - the search for clean socks" is wonderful says the sun.

    The sun is owned by global-megacorp who also own massive-megacorp who are a wholly owned subsiduary of inter-galactic giant-megacorp who made the movie.

  3. noboard

    Errr, have they ever had the misfortune to watch any of them?

    "Vloggers build their fan base on the originality and authenticity of the material they produce."

    As I have teenagers in the house, I've endured a few of these so I can gauge the kind of content on show and they're just copies of each other. One person will do something that's been done by everyone when they were little and then the rest will all produce similar shows over the next few weeks.

    Fair shout to them for making the money, but they're not doing anything special, they just jumped on the bandwagon before it came into view.

    Oh and even though the kids are stupid enough to watch them, I'm pretty sure they know the sponsored videos when they see them. Nice sour grapes from the BBC.

  4. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now,

    what's wrong with the proper word ?


    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now,

      I believe that that is the commonly accepted collective noun for a group of Twitter users.

    2. Cliff

      Re: Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now,

      You were close with 'twats', but the OED-recognised term is 'twunts'.

    3. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Vloggers, as we’re apparently meant to call them now,

      It kind of sounds like it should be related to Vogon poetry.

  5. Mr Templedene

    I heard the term vlog and vlogger quite a few years back, it's hardly a new term.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      neither is diarist, which is all they are.

      Since a broad definition of diary doesn't actually mandate the medium, it's a good use IMHO.

      Diarist : one who keeps a diary (whether public or private)

      Diary : a recorded collection of a persons opinions and experiences, usually segmented by days.

      Given the penetration of the internet, the latter phrase would be assumed to include online diaries too.

  6. Alistair Dabbs

    Keyword repetition as a form of advertising

    Does this mean LittleKuriboh has been selling vaginas?

  7. Jim 59

    Just wondering

    Dear Ed., how is the reader meant to know that this headline:

    "ASA raps 'F*CK YOU GOOGLE' vlogger + chums over VIDEO LICKFEST"

    or this sub headline:

    "Paid tongue action nipped by adland watchdog"

    refers to a story about the ASA warning Youtube vloggers to clarify their ads ? I now can't fathom what many Reg articles are about from the headlines. Instead, I hover the mouse over the headline and look at the destination URL in Firefox to get a more accurate, less overwrought description. Just sayin'.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is good.

    It has been a grey issue in the UK, realistically youtube channels should tell you what's sponsored content and what's not - of course sometimes the question is "is this an advertisement or a piece of entertainment" ergo a lot of the Yogscast content is entertainment, the reason it's interesting is that the person presenting is entertaining. I'd rarely buy something that Sips played because the reason the games are funny is because I find him funny, there are a few exceptions I pretty much bought Don't Starve off the back of his series but then I did watch about 10 hours of gameplay first. As opposed to someone who poses as say a reviewer but is in fact being paid.

    But anyway - it's always better for the consumer to know who is backing content so I welcome this clearing up of the issue and hope people make sure they abide by it.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: This is good.

      It is video *and* its online.

      Therefore it is not real. QED.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is good.

        What are you talking about?

  9. The Axe

    ASA still useless

    Why do we need the ASA to tell us that vloggers are likely to be paid in promoting products, its a bit obvious that they are. Do the ASA think we are all stupid. Should the ASA make pronouncement purely on the basis that a few odd people are naive.

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: ASA still useless

      There is a difference between

      a) Here is some stuff I bought that I like because...

      - and -

      b) Some company gave me a bunch of free stuff so I'm going to say it's great because I want more free stuff.

      It's not new, look at movie reviewers that give 90% of movies 4 stars because they want to get invited to parties.

      It would be nice if they were labeled as ads, but how can it be enforced.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are films not included in this ruling?

    Every Hollywood film is stuffed full of paid for product placement to advertise the products - I see no warnings on films.

    Same goes for sporting events - every football match or F1 race is stuffed full of billboards and adverts on clothing - where's the warning on Match of the Day "Warning - the following football match contains adverts for Ginsters Pasties and Expensive Trainers'

    Advertising is a fact of life - the only place I don't expect to see it is factual content - news, documentaries etc. Everything else is just 'Meh' and the brain filters it out (or subliminally goes out and buys an Aston Martin because James Bond drives one)

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Why are films not included in this ruling?

      They should

      There should be a list of companies on Films & TV series that have paid for advertisements. Or actually it should be banned. The Blue Peter extreme of blacking out the product names isn't needed.

    2. Adolph Clickbait

      Re: Why are films not included in this ruling?

      I loved the product placement in "Under the Dome".

      All the inhabitants of the town owned Microsoft phones (possibly why they were domed off) and none of them were working.

    3. PJI

      Re: Why are films not included in this ruling?

      Read the film credits rather than rushing out to be first to the bar. Such items are usually noted there.

      Buy the way, films tend to be blatantly commercial products, or did you think they are all done gratis, for the public good?

      Also, never, ever credit (or discredit) others with the same experience, education (in)ability or ideas as yourself. You may be a clever clogs who spends the whole film remarking upon the product placements. The rest of us just watch the story and a few, without the benefit of your supreme intellect, may be fooled.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    Elephant in the room

    Yet another yucky North American product being foisted on us by cultural imperialism / Social marketing.

    It's pretty horrid compared to proper British Bikkies.

    Coca Cola

    Levis (remember the pop song?)







    Pumpkins for Halloween

    Cranberry sauce

    Cranberry juice

    US Films

    US TV serials

    Marvel & DC comics

    Maybe we will forgive them for Kraft Philadelphia cheese and Heinz tinned goods?

    Yes, of course they are going to use YouTube, Twitter, Facebook as well as TV, Radio and Newspapers.

    Icon because the USA calls Foreigners, Aliens.

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Elephant in the room

      Budweiser is nice. (the Budvar stuff that is)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elephant in the room

        Yes, the real one, not the USA rip-off piss water.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "are you not entertained?"

    Between 2 and 7 million humans watch this shit! When the apocalypse comes we now know who to turn into sausages to feed the rest of us.

  13. MrZoolook


    BBC journalists are our Advertising Standards moral overseers now. What kind of fucked up world is this?

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