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UK advert police explain to vloggers what an advert is


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Vloggers, bloggers and social media celebs have captive, loyal audiences that make them prime partners for marketers. Like it or not, most new media stars dabble in advertising of one form or another -- you can't live on YouTube kickbacks alone now, can you? -- but it's not always easy to tell regular content from promotions. Not all product plugs are as blatant as Kim Kardashian's recent Instagram mishap, for instance. According to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), vloggers and kin have been seeking clear rules on what constitutes promotional content, and how it needs to be labelled. And to help them play by the rules, the ASA's Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has today published new "vlogging advertising guidance," also known as the "common sense handbook."

The guidance, intended to clarify the rules rather than bring new ones in, covers the most common promotional scenarios new media juggernauts engage in: from product placement, to sponsored content, to full-blown advertorials. In every case, the message to internet celebs and the marketers that work with them is clear, and pretty obvious. Basically, where content contains an advertising element, it needs to be transparently labeled as such. Vloggers and the like are rarely pulled up by the ASA for misrepresenting promotional content, but the guidance should help new and established players alike from repeating indiscretions like the YouTube Oreo "Lick Race" scandal of last year.

[Image credit: YouTube / AmazingPhil]

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