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Advertising authority investigating YouTubers who don't disclose paid-for videos

Advertising authority investigating YouTubers who don't disclose paid-for videos

November 26, 2014 | By Mike Rose

"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."
- Ben Bradshaw, a British Member of Parliament, reacts to poor disclosure from YouTubers.

Gamasutra has delved heavily into the ethics of YouTubers getting paid to advertise video games without proper disclosure. Most notably, the Federal Trade Commission says that disclosure of such deals should be placed in the YouTube video itself.

Now the Advertising Standards Authority, a British self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry, has told the BBC that YouTubers need to better label their paid videos as adverts.

"Brands and vloggers now have to make it very clear, before you click on a video, that it's a promotional video," the ASA's Lynsay Taffe explained. In fact, the ASA is advising that the word "ad" or "promo" is featured directly in the title of a promotional video.

And Labour MP Bradshaw later added that YouTubers, and online videos in general, should be held to the same standards that govern television and regular advertising.

YouTube responded by stating that YouTubers are responsible for sticking to regulations and advertising laws, not YouTube itself. The ASA says that it is now looking at disclosure on paid-for YouTube videos much more closely.

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