This weeks ASA rulings are out, and one in particular was a bit of a surprise for us bloggers – the ASA have ruled that a popular channel created by Proctor and Gamble was not clear enough about who owned (and therefore owned the editorial content decisions) the channel.
It’s surprising, because the video doesn’t really hide who has paid for it – you have probably seen lots of the Beauty Recommended videos as ads before watching your favourite cat videos on YouTube. You can see the video in question below.
Procter & Gamble have been quick to rename all of the videos on the Beauty Recommended channel to include the #ad wording at the start of each title, and added more information into the description, and have been told to make future videos more identifiable as marketing communications.
The problem here is that the ASA is making these decisions about individual videos without considering the wider impact. Should all channels set up by companies for advertising purposes need to be extremely explicit in who is paying for them? We would love to see the ASA create a document that explains exactly how to disclose when you receive a product to review, or are paid for a post – whether that’s a blog post, vlog or social media post. Disclosure is super important for bloggers and their readers – but it’s difficult to know what the right thing to do is when rulings like this are happening all the time.
What do you think? Was this the right decision?