YouTube Launches Paid Product Placement

You better believe that the FTC has a strong opinion when it comes to Influencer Marketing. According to Bloomberg, they have a right with over $255 million spent on influencer marketing each month!  Along with the demand for influencer marketing comes as wishy-washy set of rules laid out by the FTC regarding the need to properly disclose that the post has been sponsored.

This disclosure is a hot topic in the influencer space as the requirements on exactly what needs to be done are left to interpretation.  At the highest level, the FTC requires that the disclosure be:

  1. Clearly stated
  2. Prominently placed
  3. Placed within the type of media produced by the influencer.

For example, if it is a video – it should be clearly shown or stated toward the beginning of the video that the content is sponsored.  #sp, #ad or a sentence at the bottom of a description is no longer enough.

With all of this gray area, YouTube has taken a stand to help make it easier for influencers to make the viewer aware of brand partnerships.  Starting last week, YouTube introduced the ability to add an overlay at the beginning of the video to announce that has been sponsored:

Paid Product Placements & Endorsements:

YouTube paid promotion

With this new functionality, all an influencer needs to do is check a box during the upload process to have the words “Includes paid promotion” burned into the video for the first 10 seconds.  This takes away the need to state the partnership or add a call out over the video.

“Without clear requirements being provided by the FTC, this functionality makes it clear what influencers need to do without stifling their original, creative content,” states Luca Graham (Campaign Manager,

In addition to making it easy for the influencers, sponsors should rest easier knowing that there is a seamless way to ensure that the content they are paying for will meet the FTC regulations.  Additionally, sponsors should be happy to know that the content will not change or be impacted by the need for additional disclosures.

Let us know what other ways you are including disclosures in our influencer marketing.