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New ad guidelines for video bloggers

Shahriar Coupal

Shahriar Coupal

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has introduced a new set of guidelines for video bloggers so that they are “upfront and deal fairly” with their viewers.

The guidelines, from the ASA’s sister body, the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), state that advertising must be obviously identifiable in online and social videos.

“If a vlogger is paid to promote a product or service and an advertiser controls the message then it becomes an ad. When that happens, like all advertisers, vloggers must be upfront and clearly signpost that they’re advertising,” said the ASA.

The rules do not prohibit vloggers from entering into commercial relationships, but the ASA said that if an advertiser or agency asks a vlogger to not disclose that they’re advertising a product then they are asking them to break the advertising rules and potentially the law.

“Wherever ads appear we should be confident we can trust what an advertiser says; it’s simply not fair if we’re being advertised to and are not made aware of that fact,” said Shahriar Coupal, director of the Committees of Advertising Practice.

“Our guidance will give vloggers greater confidence that they’re sticking to the rules which in turn will help maintain the relationship and trust they’ve built with their followers.”

The move is part of a five-year strategy by the ASA to “proactively identify advertising trends in an evolving media landscape” and follows an earlier ruling from last year that also called for vloggers to be clear upfront if they are being paid to advertise products.