As many of you already know, sponsored content is probably one of the biggest taboo subjects across YouTube and social platforms on a whole. The prospect of brands paying our favourite bloggers to promote their products is slightly daunting, as it leave us thinking “how trustworthy are YouTubers really?”
The term sponsored content is something that is thrown about constantly, and with some YouTubers regularly churning out promoted products here there and everywhere, it becomes difficult to trust what they say. What is scripted and what is honest? The real question really asks, what is authentic these days?
Some YouTubers have taken to their channels and spoken out about the truths of sponsored content and what it really means. Take Dodie Clark for example, in her vlog she discusses the implications of the “fan vs. creator divide” and how it affects likability from subscribers. She initially mentions how she feels about paid advertisements and the way in which she decides whether something is right for her before agreeing to produce sponsored content – mainly being if she would generally use a certain product, and how her audience will react to it.
Another popular personality, Gracie Francesca has gone just a step further and given us an in-depth lesson on the ins-and-outs of sponsored posts. Although some may see it distasteful talking about money which Grace agrees with, after the constant assumptions and speculation regarding this topic she felt it was necessary to lay all her cards out on the table.
Strict rules have been set in place by ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) that whenever sponsored content is uploaded it must state that it is an #AD. Gracie further elaborates on this with a lengthy explanation stating: “an #AD symbol will appear in the corner of the screen that means that company has paid for a specific slot in the video. #AD in the title means the company or brand have paid for the entire video, and that can also include tweets or Instagram etc.”
There are those who are completely open about brands that they work with, and others that are actively lying about promoted posts just to seem more genuine. Moral of the story is we all need to make a living somehow and by sharing sponsored content or promoting a brand, YouTubers are able to generate some form of an income. Whether they like to disclose the terms of a contract is entirely their choice, but if subscriber relationships is something a vlogger wishes to maintain, then honesty is by far the best policy. What are your opinions on sponsored content? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out this week’s SLAY or NAY!