Sponsorships are a great way to increase the support for a channel, and can also be used as an additional revenue stream, however, there are some guidelines that you should be aware of in order to prevent any issues that could put you and your channel at risk.
YouTube has tools that can help you disclose information in cases of paid promotions, such as sponshorships or brand deals. To use it this feature, you just need to go to your YouTube video editor, go to the "Advanced settings" tab of the video and check the boxes under "Content declaration". Make sure to read the information in the question marks.
Even though this is a good way to disclose information, you should make sure you use your own means to clearly share that information to avoid any possible confusion, for example, an image in the video with the message, or making an audio reference at the beginning of the video.
GOVERNMENT LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Each country has its own policies and applicable laws when it comes to sponsorships and brand deals. It's important to make sure those are followed to prevent what could become a serious issue.
Even though the following case is very specific, we could use it as an example to understand that governments take this very seriously, and they are prepared to enforce the law, in cases they believe there was a violation.
Real case example:
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a complaint against two popular YouTube creators, Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell, owners of the channels “TmarTn” and "TheSyndicateProject" respectively, because they violated Section 5(a) of the FTC Act that states "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce…are…declared unlawful." In a reaction video titled "HOW TO WIN $13,000 IN 5 MINUTES (CS-GO Betting)", the creator failed to disclose that the two creators already had a relation with the gambling service CSGO Lotto as reported by several other creators (example).
The FTC later posted on September 7, 2017, a press release regarding the settlement agreement between the parties, and included was also a very handy piece of information regarding recommendations and practices to avoid, as shown in the image below. For a full and updated Endorsement guide, by the FTC, click here.
In the meantime, another 21 letters have already been sent to influencers and marketers regarding practices that do not follow government laws on this subject, as reported by The National Law Journal.
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