ASA bans P&G YouTube vlog
Proctor & Gamble is the latest advertiser to land itself in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over the use of vloggers, following a complaint that a YouTube video sponsored by Max Factor, owned by P&G, wasn't obviously identifiable as advertising.
The video, featuring a model vlogger talking about and using a number of Max Factor products in the context of a lip make-up tutorial, has been accused of misleading viewers who would not be aware that the 'Beauty Recommended' channel - under which the video appeared - was obviously owned by P&G and therefore a marketing communication.
While P&G argued that they had ensured that viewers were aware that the vlog was sponsored before they engaged with the material, the ASA ruled that consumers would not necessarily be aware that the Beauty Recommended brand was owned by P&G and therefore that the video must not appear again in its current form.
P&G is not the first advertiser the ASA has clamped down on over its use of vloggers - a relatively new platform for marketers. Mondelez UK came under fire for similar reasons at the end of last year, following five YouTube videos featuring UK vloggers taking part in an Oreo 'lick race'.
The videos were ultimately ruled as 'commercially misleading' and banned by the ASA.
Speaking at the time, ISBA, the voice of British advertisers, welcomed the ban, with Ian Twinn, director of public affairs, saying that consumers "deserve respect".
"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," said Twinn.
"In the UK the rules are clear: in a tweet include #ad, and for Facebook or YouTube just say it's an advert. It might even help vloggers get more work! Brands want to respect their consumers and protect their brand value."