Sponsorships - Best practices

Sponsorships - Best practices

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.



  • Clear communication is key
    • When using paid sponsorships or brand deals, always disclose that information in the video in a way that it could not be misunderstood.
    • When receiving free products for endorsement a short note that mentions the company that sent it to you for free can generally work, but when other forms of compensation are involved (i.e. monetary incentive) it's important to mention that it's a paid endorsement, even though disclosing specifics (amount) is generally not necessary.
    • When you have a personal relationship with the company or owner of the product or service that you are promoting, you should disclose that information.
    • If you think that the opinion of your audience in relation to you could be influenced by a particular piece of information in regards to the deal you made with a company, it usually means that you should disclose that information, for credibility reasons.
    • Disclose important information in the video itself. The description of the video is usually not enough, especially if the video was embedded in an external website.

  • Do your homework before promoting a product or service
    • Take time to learn more about the product/service before you promote it.
    • Don't promote products/services that you can't stand behind.
    • Make sure that you follow all the government laws of your country.

  • Contests/giveaways
    • When doing contests, if the prize was provided by a third party, always make reference to the company and clearly state that what you are doing is part of a contest sponsored by...

  • Affiliate links
    • Make sure that any links provided as part of an affiliate program for which you have something to gain are clearly identified as such and not hidden. You can use URL shorteners, but make sure there is an accurate description next to it (i.e. "Use my affiliate link to join or buy..."). In the video itself, it is also a good practice mentioning that you get commissions when someone uses your link.

  • Testimonials
    • Aside from making reference to the conditions in which you obtained access to the product/service you are providing a testimonial for, and the results of your personal experience with it, make sure you include what a typical consumer experience could be when using that specific product/service as well, as results may differ from user to user. In these cases it's essential to be as accurate as possible with the information provided. Make sure you tested the product/service for a reasonable amount of time before you provide your testimonial.



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. 



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.


If you have any other questions or concerns, please make sure to reach out to our support team by clicking in the "Submit a request" link at the top of this page.

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