Zero Tolerance for Branded Content that Does Not Inform Consumers it is Paid Marketing

Following the recent ban of Mondelez's Oreo native ad on YouTube, UK advertising trade bodies ISBA and the IAB are warning brands of the need to maintain respect for their consumers by clearly informing them when paid-for vlogger content is used as advertising.

The Oreo marketing, which featured popular vloggers (bloggers that use video to communicate) such as Dan & Phil and Tom Ridgewell taking part in an 'Oreo lick race', was banned on YouTube after a BBC journalist highlighted the fact that it was not clearly identified as marketing communications.

ISBA's Director of Public Affairs, Ian Twinn, commented: "There are of course a lot of vloggers that adhere to the rules and are transparent about their content, but not everyone is equally savvy. In the UK the rules are clear - in a tweet include #ad, and for Facebook or YouTube just say it's an advert. Brands want to respect their consumers and protect their brand value."

Additionally, the IAB's Public Policy Manager, Alex Stepney, said: "Being up front with the consumer, by making it very clear right from the start that a communication has been paid for and is in editorial control of the marketer is crucial. Not only is the need for disclosure covered by the ASA, but it is also the law."

Stepney added: "The issue for industry has been 'how do we provide meaningful disclosure?'. To address that question we produced guidance for paid promotions in social media alongside ISBA in 2011, and it is why we continue to work with our members to help the industry to comply with the rules as ad formats and marketing communications evolve and emerge."

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