Video bloggers (‘vloggers’) must make it clear when they are paid to promote products, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has warned.
The new guidance was issued following an investigation carried out by kids-focused news service BBC Newsround. Several UK vloggers were paid to praise Oreo biscuits, but none of the videos were labelled as adverts.
The ASA ruled that the promotions were not clearly marked, and must not appear again in their current form. Mondelez, the biscuit company behind the adverts, said it was disappointed but would not show the videos again.
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.”
Labour MP and former Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw added that he was worried that this case was part of a wider problem.
“There are strict rules that govern television and other advertising and it seems to me that there’s a bit of a loophole when it comes to online, videos and YouTube,” he said.