UK Joins FCC In Requiring Disclosure Of ‘Pay For Play’ Social Media Videos

The United Kingdom’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has told those blogging videos (vloggers) on YouTube and other social media platforms to come clean when they are getting compensated to discuss a product.

The ruling mirrors a set of U.S. guidelines issued by the FCC that any paid placement in media must be clearly disclosed to viewers.

The CAP’s latest set of guidelines gives instructions for the stars and producers of video blogs on how to reveal when they have been given cash rewards or stand to gain from giving support to a certain product in their video posts.

The rules come as a response to a 2014 occurrence in which some video bloggers were compensated for uploading videos promoting Oreo cookies without fully revealing that they had been paid to do so.

In a statement, CAP said, “The advertising rules do not cover or prohibit vloggers entering into commercial relationships and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) does not regulate editorial opinion.”

It went on to explain, “In response to feedback from vloggers, however, we and the ASA are also reminding brands and agencies (be they advertising, digital or PR) looking to partner with vloggers of the need to be transparent.”

The latest guidelines outline how vloggers should deal with product adverts within their uploads, as well as when to reveal commercial breaks in the multimedia files, referring to paid content as “advertorial.” The guidelines also say how to acknowledge a video’s promoters and when to reveal where an organization has sent a vlogger some free product.

The guidelines explain how to brand and term adverts, such as using the words “ad,” “advertising feature,” or other words a vlogger can utilize to inform those viewing when they are using a paid item.

Other subjects for the rules include product position within videos, and advertorials featuring the vlogger’s personal products and businesses.

Shahriar Coupal, CAP director said, “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.”

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