Today CAP has announced new guidelines for vloggers in terms of advertising. The current guidelines mean that all videos that are paid for brands who have the control must be disclosed as so and have the word "Ad" in the video title or in the thumbnail image, but this leaves a lot open for social media and other ways of including sponsored products.
The Vlogging Advertising guidelines aim to make it easier for vloggers to build trust with subscribers. Shahriar Coupal, Director of the Committees of Advertising Practice commented "Our guidance will give vloggers greater confidence that they’re sticking to the rules which in turn will help maintain the relationship and trust they’ve built with their followers." Unfortunately this only applies to british vloggers so could put them at a disadvantage to their American and worldwide counterparts.
The new guidelines announced today state that ALL advertisement must be clear to viewers, and they give clear scenarios for each instance. This means that if you include a product you were sent or paid to advertise in a review or favourites video, then although you don't have to say "ad" in the title, you must make it clear that this was a gifted or sponsored product. This can be done by quickly explaining that you're being paid to talk about this product, holding up a sign saying "Ad" or including the brand's logo in the section. Even if it's the vloggers own product (such as Zoella's beauty range/ book), you should make it clear, though it doesn't have to say ad- just something like "New Book News!"
On social media the lines are still a bit blurred and aren't included in the new guidelines, but as long as you say something along the lines of "c/o A Brand" or "thank you to A Brand" for sending me A Product" it is generally ok. For Instagram its accepted to say "ad feature". This isn't regulatory but it is more of an ethical issue.
This of course follows on from the misleading advertisements from Oreo with big vloggers last year, where the product was included in a lot of high profile British Vloggers' videos without disclosing that they were sponsored.
Increasingly more companies are asking vloggers not to disclose, using loopholes, but hopefully this code will clear it up. General advice is that if a company asks you to not disclose, that they are not the sort of company you want to working with. CAP reminds vloggers “Any advertiser or agency that asks a vlogger not to be up-front that they’re advertising are asking them to break the advertising rules and potentially the law”.
CAP quote from The Drum