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New guidelines issued for vloggers

News, 20 August 2015

LONDON: The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has responded to requests from vloggers and produced a new set of guidelines offering clear guidance on how and when advertising rules apply to them.

This follows an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling last year where the regulator found that a number of vloggers had failed to make sufficiently clear to viewers that their videos were in fact part of a campaigns for well-known brands.

Shahriar Coupal, director of CAP, said that wherever ads appear the public should be confident they can trust what an advertiser says.

"It"s simply not fair if we"re being advertised to and are not made aware of that fact," he said. "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."

The new CAP guidelines highlight the fact that advertising rules apply across all media – including online and social channels – and that ads must be obviously identifiable as such.

A number of vlogging scenarios are envisaged, including online marketing by a brand, 'advertorial" vlogs, commercial breaks within vlogs, product placement, sponsorship and free items.

Vlogger's videos about their own products and promotion of such products within a boarded editorial piece are also covered.

CAP and ASA further reminded brands and agencies looking to partner with vloggers of the need to be transparent.

"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 said.

Vlogs are popular but few people turn to them when they want to find out about new products or are looking for product information.

A recent GlobalWebIndex report said that just 7% of internet users and 12% of vlog viewers discovered new products this way; when looking for product information the equivalent figures were 5% and 10%.

Data sourced from CAP; additional content by Warc staff