We’ve been fascinated by the rise of vloggers (video-bloggers) over the past couple of years. Zoella, Alfie and Tanya Burr are now household names. They appear all over the place, from articles in Vogue to on stage at the BBC’s Teen Awards. Zoella, real name Zoe Sugg, yesterday released her first novel Girl Online
, which is set to become a Christmas bestseller.
Each of these vloggers keeps an active online presence. They regularly upload ‘diary’ style videos, tips, how-to guides, challenges and general banter to YouTube for their fans to see and comment on. But it’s the sheer influence of these vloggers that’s hard to comprehend. Amongst the top vloggers, the average number of views per video exceeds 2 million. This is as many as The One Show, and The Apprentice You’re Fired.
The Advertising Standards Authority has today reissued a warning to vloggers. If they’ve been paid to promotoe a brand or product then they must declare it!
In June, the BBC noticed that a group of UK vloggers were paid to promote Oreo, but none of the videos was clearly labelled as adverts. A BBC Newsround journalist complained to the ASA that it was unclear to viewers that the videos were marketing communications.
Lynsay Taffe from the ASA told the BBC: “Brands and vloggers now have to make it very clear, before you click on a video, that it’s a promotional video.”
If a vlogger is paid to promote a product, then they need to make it clear. This includes putting the word “ad” or “promo” in the title of their video. Or to ad clarity use a symbol in the thumbnail informing viewers that they’re about to click on an advert.
The ASA website states: “Mondelez UK Ltd who manufacture Oreo biscuits said that they had not intended to mislead consumers. They stated that the vloggers had been engaged to create ads on behalf of Oreo, that each was paid and provided with the product for use in the video.”
Each blogger did state that they were asked to create the video on behalf of Oreo. But it was not clear enough before watching the video that there had been a financial agreement to create the content.
You can read the full ruling here on the ASA website
To learn more about social media advertising, check out our blog – An Introduction to Social Media Advertising