James Charles Just Exposed Beauty YouTube's Worst Kept Secret
27 November 2017, 16:55 | Updated: 27 November 2017, 17:00
James Charles let slip a hotly contested denial about Beauty YouTubers in his latest Twitter rant.
On November 22nd, James revealed that he'd been asked by a "huge brand" to include five of their products in a Christmas gift guide. But when he let them know his rates, "they literally told me they had no budget."
"Respect is a two-way street," James continued. "When are brands going to realise that we do not work for free?"
i just got an email from a HUGE brand asking me to include 5 of their products if i was doing a holiday gift guide and when i told them my rates they literally told me they had no budget— James Charles (@jamescharles) November 22, 2017
RESPECT IS A TWO WAY STREET!!!! When are brands going to realize that WE DO NOT WORK FOR FREE?— James Charles (@jamescharles) November 22, 2017
While most followers congratulated James for speaking out, some pointed out that influencers being paid to give recommendations could make their recommendations biased - especially because YouTubers don't tend to disclose if they've been paid to put products in their gift guides.
Sooo... influencers include items on their "favorites" lists that they are paid to mention and aren't REALLY their favorites??? SHOCKING 🙄— Janelle andCrew (@JanelleandCrew) November 22, 2017
So , your deciding factor was no money not looking at if the products were any good. I will never trust a video of yours period. I hate the commercial you tube has become— sunshine2121 (@craxyconfused) November 23, 2017
Responding to the criticism, James said it was "up to... consumers to decide who you trust," before insisting he only does sponsorships "with brands I love."
it depends & it's up to you guys as viewers & consumers to decide who you trust. i rarely do sponsorships and when i do it's only with brands i love - why not be paid to talk about something i already use & love, u feel? :)— James Charles (@jamescharles) November 22, 2017
While Beauty YouTubers make it clear when they've been sponsored in some videos, it's not always obvious with holiday gift guides specifically.
So it might be worth taking gift guides with a pinch of salt in future.