Video bloggers told to flag paid content

The increasing number of vloggers, or video bloggers, taking to the Internet have been told to state when paid-for content is being used.

The warning, which will compel vloggers to make it clear to their fans when they are being paid to promote products for companies, comes from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA has also said that some of the most popular vloggers in the UK were guilty of not making it obvious that they had received cash to endorse a product.

Speaking to the BBC’s Newsround programme, ASA spokeswomen Lynsay Taffe said:

“Brands and vloggers now have to make it very clear, before you click on a video, that it’s a promotional video.”

With firms increasingly eager to appear on the radar of social news feeds, exploiting the popularity of video blogging is seen as a key tool by news content providers and search engine optimisation firms.

Many agencies have been using the channels very successfully for some time, with a major US-based biscuit firm particularly well known for it.

The company, Mondelez, has since responded to the criticism. Despite saying it was disappointed with the direction, the biscuit manufacturer has said that it will ensure all online vlogging content conforms to the ASA direction.

The vloggers singled out have all changed the videos descriptions to make it clear that the pieces were sponsored content.

The ASA also confirmed that it would ensure that online videos being posted on YouTube and other channels were monitored more closely in the future.

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