As regular readers/viewers among you will know I like to be as clear as possible about payments I receive for promotions both here on my blog and on my YouTube channels. I do accept sponsorship on both platforms but less so in video form as a written feature is easier to digest than a moving picture version (in my opinion) and so I’m more selective and only choose things I feel really comfortable with for YouTube. Here on my blog you guys seem to be cool with my disclosures, I will always tell you if a post or link has been paid for and I’d never tell you I loved something if I didn’t (far from it.. some brands really don’t like me much!) and on my channels I annotate the start of a video *sponsored and give more detail in the info bar. Until now this was as clear as you could be and as you were expected to be but things are changing.
As far as I’m aware written sponsorship is unchanged, I can still declare *sponsored post at the end and that’s fine.. you’re all aware i have been paid to talk about some or all of the content. Videos however are up for discussion right now after a bunch of YouTuber’s were apparently paid to talk about a certain brand of biscuits recently and didn’t disclose said payment. Now it’s been decided that before you CLICK on a video you should know if it contains any paid product placement. As a YouTuber I’m on the fence about this ruling, I think that adding ‘sponsored’ to the title of an video is like saying ‘don’t watch this’ I know as a viewer I likely wouldn’t click. That being said I watch A LOT of videos I suspect have paid product placement and enjoy them all the same. There has to be a middle ground. I think the way I do it right now is clear however I thought I would put it to you, how do you as viewers/readers feel about the current state of things?
I think the worst of it all are those who don’t disclose or make it clear in the body of the video that they have been paid to mention something.. I watched a series of gift guides recently which I had no idea had been paid for until I just (out of interest when preparing for this post) went back to check and sure enough they were endorsed by a certain brand who featured in all of them. That sponsorship made up such a small part of that video that I can see why perhaps this person chose not to label the whole video, it does send an unnecessary message that the video is somehow not genuine but at the same time.. I feel a little duped. I personally don’t currently work with brands in that way so if I was to accept payment it would be for an entire video.. that’s much easier to disclose but I don’t know how I’d deal with that situation. Perhaps ‘this video contains paid product placement’ ? You tell me.
Moving forward I will be adding #ad to the thumbnail of any video which contains any sponsored content whatsoever as well as continuing to disclose as I currently do within the video itself and in the info bar. I never want my viewers to have to wonder whether I’ve been paid to talk about something, I want you to KNOW that if I haven’t told you then I haven’t. Simple as that. It’s a tricky subject and touchy for some, not everyone wants to talk about it and those who do are often seen as a little money focused but just to put this in perspective my last sponsored video was in June. I happen to have 2 coming up next month (December is a heavy ad month for bloggers as you can imagine) but in between I turn down a lot of things that just aren’t right. I only accept what I feel I would likely talk about anyway or something that will be useful to you. For those wondering I have a skincare video for Tesco Beauty and a first impressions video of a Veet laser hair removal system coming up so you can look out for the new disclosures on those!
What inspired this stream of consciousness? A post by British Beauty Blogger (who if you’re a blogger is a must read as she has ALL the information you want) which you can read here. She outlines the new rules and was it not for her I wouldn’t have known. I will be putting out an updated video on the subject this week as I think it’s really important for people to be informed and ultimately you shouldn’t be accepting payment for something you’re ashamed of disclosing. I don’t, I wont and I just wanted to remind you of that!