YouTubers have to declare ads. Why doesn't anyone else?

Publicerades den 15 feb 2021
Around the world, there are regulations for "influencers". Those regulations make sure that if someone is paid to endorse a product, they have to declare that payment to the people watching. But why does no-one on TV, or film, or anywhere else have to do that?
Written and performed by TOM SCOTT
Script assistant ANDREA MARKS
"Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight" by Rose/Broom/Breuer (1924), arranged for orchestra by BENJAMIN SQUIRES
Filmed safely:
© Pad 26 Limited MMXXI
Lonnie Donegan changing Spearmint: mentioned in a lot of places, but I can't find a contemporary account.
Ray Davies flying: thekinks/status/1265203792754212864 and
BBC trademark policy:
Pitbull and Kodak: pitbull/status/16567622829080576
Pitbull and Voli: "Owned and operated by Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull"
Gucci on Lil Pump: no quotes, but given the lyrics and video, it's safe to say they didn't have control
YMCA reaction:,10172867
US Code Title 15:
Nikkie de Jager, One Dip Makeup Challenge:
Disclosures 101 for Social Media Influencers [PDF]:
An Influencer’s Guide to making clear that ads are ads [PDF]:
The FTC’s Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking:
SElists declaration:
"Branded content pods":
Farrow and Ball:
Branson cameo:
Superman's $40,000:
Bond placement:
Lorraine Kelly's tax bill:
"Moms' conference":
SNT viewing figures:
"19 years in a row":
"Can't find any other example" of the castle being covered:
Ofcom on product placement in UK TV:
"One article on a tabloid web site":
FCC, "The FCC and Freedom of Speech":
US Bill of Rights:
First Amendment exceptions: fact-checked by legal experts, but best summarised on Wikipedia:
Commercial speech:
Communications Act 2003:
Animal Defenders International v United Kingdom:
CMA, "Social media endorsements: being transparent with your followers":
German product placement:
00:00 Intro
00:58 1. Payment and Control
05:47 2. You Have To Declare It
09:17 3. No-One Else Has To Declare It
18:03 4. We're Going To Disney World
24:47 5. The Land Of The Free
31:15 Outro


  • "Influencers have to declare sponsorships clearly and up-front. Why doesn't that apply to any other medium?" would have been a much more accurate title, but alas, SElists titles have to be short and catchy!

    • @Harv Pot Delete ads now and ban youtube :)

    • I agree.

    • Ads suck, Do you agree? 1. Yep, it annoys me. 2. NO, I LOVE THEM IDIOT!

    • You got a problem with SElists it's your right to leave it.. myself as a major shareholder in Google and loving every second of it now shut up and post..

    • I am not going to watch this video. Not because it isn't good, but only because I already know the subject matter. Gave you an upvote and a comment. Hope that is enough support.

  • 11:45

  • damn tom scott hit a fattie

  • For those of us who pay for a SElists subscription, we need a skip button for the sponsored ads.

  • 11:43 You've been looking for this, right?

  • 11:45 you’re welcome

  • 11:45

  • im personally hurt that a british youtuber wrote "monetized" as opposed to monetised

  • This us gespol

  • 11:48 for personal purpose

  • You made the mistake of coating your larynx in vegetable glycerin

  • I get the feeling the main reasoning behind the difference in regulations comes down to the way the content is made (SElists vid vs broadcast TV show or movie). SElists and instagram, etc are all readily available to everyone. I could make my own chanel and start reviewing products or spouting my opinion etc, but I may not get the level of following as some of the most influential channels. However, I know I cannot go out and make a blockbuster movie. So therefore, its well established that big budget productions have sponsorship from big brands. However, the influencer/online services can appear as self made, which means that its important to let the audience know when there is a difference between my self made video, and the sponsored video that has 1million views.

  • "Its time to play - is this an advert?" *SElists ad starts to play

  • Epic bro im dying bc of the vape segment

  • I love how there was a specially commissioned rendition of 'does the spearmint lose its flavour' for the outro of this video - what a legend is tom scott...

  • 11:45

  • On the topic of ads and endorsements... We've been recently seeing a massive amounts of "interviews" with Dr. Tony Fauci conducted by known SElistsrs , yet there's no disclaimer about what inspired them to do those.

  • 3:31 That kill me everytime i hear it "YYYYY.M.C.A"

  • brilliant. making my children watch this

  • Neil Young has entered the chat.

  • 28:30 rich and powerful people saying it is bad to let other rich and powerful people have free speech

  • We are all (or most of us anyway) taught not to tell lies growing up. The whole world 🌍 🌎 is a lie. Government lies, Corporation’s lie, celebrities lie, sports stars lie, pharmaceutical company’s lie, banks lie and on and on. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇬🇧🇺🇸 When will WE the people stand up to all these lying bastards? Only then will BS nearly stop. Yes only nearly stop, as it’s impossible to completely stop BS. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇬🇧🇺🇸

  • For people looking 11:45 is the vape part

  • Heck yea brother

  • 11:45 *BRUH .*

  • taling about ad 3 sec later HAVE A FUC**NG AD

  • ok, but where is the link to download "disguised gambling game"?

  • I absolutely despise the term influencer and the people who do it as a career. Why anyone believes them is beyond me.

  • More than entertainment, I want politicians to declare their sponsors

  • The 2.1k dislikes are the people who didn't declare their ads

  • I'd watch tom reacts. Make it real please.... 😂😂

  • “Is this an advert?” Ad plays

  • I got baited by the “This video is not sponsored” thumbnail just to end up watching a 15s ad. Salty.

  • I'm so glad that I'm European. We have such good laws (most of the time), a little abridging is fine by me. Democracy means you can do (or say) anything you want, until you don't hurt the rest of the society. Lying or misleading ads are certainly not right, they should declare it on TV and music as well.

  • waiiiit.....da thumbnail says "it's not sponsored" whaaaaaaatt

  • “Is this an advert?” AN AD ROLLS

  • whoever built that RDA did Tom dirty lmao

  • What if you've been paid by company A to say something bad about company B

  • I'm surprised you forgot what seems to be the most important reason... Influencers mainly advertise to children. All those examples are either targeted towards an older audience or are family shows that you generally watch under supervision. We expect adults to understand ads, but the problem is that many influencers mainly convince children to buy something. While the current rules are far from perfect, I think this is a very important distinction to make.

    • @MyLittleDashie 7 as mentioned, I'm not arguing the current rules are perfect or fair, but I still think it's an important distinction to make. Casino Royale really isn't targeted at kids, and not of the products are things kids could buy, either because they're too expensive or because they're too young (like Heineken). This is much different from their fave influencer saying that some lipstick is their absolute fave. If all SElistsrs were like Tom, I'm not sure if lawmakers were as eager to create strict laws, since he's clear and transparent about ads. But the truth is that a very large amount of SElistsrs targets at a younger audience. Beauty vloggers always get sent free stuff, but kids don't know that. Same with other vloggers. When they proposed similar rules in the Netherlands, it was one of the main arguments that a lot of content is for kids. I imagine this is the same for most countries, and I'm not convinced they would've made these laws if all SElistsrs were like Tom Scott. Again, the current system is not perfect, and not everything is targeted towards kids, but the argument is still important enough to address in this 30 minute in depth video in my opinion.

    • A few things, these rules apply to everyone, not just influencers how have young audiences. Tom has to abide by these rules, and I doubt many kids are interested in watching 30+ minute videos on copywrite and advertising laws. The British TV laws already have an exception for kids TV, so why not the same distinction for kids entertainment online? If that really is the reason the difference in the strictness of the law exists, plenty of creators who don't have young audiences should be in the clear. Second, even if adults are expected to understand, those 30 Rock clips made it clear that advertisement and just another skit in the show are utterly indistinguishable some times. And if it really is a big deal that you not advertise to kids, why not just err on the side of caution? Children absolutely watch movies and shows not made expressly for them. 11 year old me must've watched Casino Royale a dozen times when it came out, and I always watched it on my own, the rest of my family weren't into it. It's not going to destroy all old media to have a clear message at some point during the show, or at the start of the movie, etc. saying "Oh by the way, these people gave us money", in the same way the make up youtuber Tom mentioned does. And I'm sure the adults wouldn't exactly mind either. I'm not convinced your distinction really is all that important, honestly.

  • SElists needs more of this thoughtful content and a lot less of just about everything else.

  • One of the most egregious offender is newspapers - particularly the smaller "local" newspapers (that are not local at all and are all owned by the same three big companies). it feels like half of what I see nowadays is churnalism - that is, journalism by press release. Every time you read a dumb story saying something like "scientists discover your kitchen counters are crawling with germs", Dettol paid for that story.

  • Where’s the link to buy The Ring Doorbell? I think I need that.

  • Great explanation, love your video's Tom!

  • 👎👎👎

  • Its been over a year since i quit nicotine. You have reminded me of it's existence and I now crave the brain tingle again.

    • Personally, seeing Tom cough up a whole ass lung from a nicotine-free vape is enough to convince me to never smoke again, but you do you

  • i got an advert for native advertising before the video

  • Nice Seth Rogan impression

  • Like I'm free to say America is not free. Considering we have 25% of the world's prisoners, and in some states they're required to work without pay, we have the world's largest slave population. That isn't freedom, or if it is, I'd rather be somewhere that isn't so "free".

  • You are probably here for 11:45 lmao

    • Thank you sir

  • Im happy to have those regulations

  • Ads suck, do you agree? 1. yes they annoy me! >:( 2. Nope idiots

    • Delete ads to get free budget or Commit Tax fraud! (Do not Ban me)

  • sees thumbnail* *clicks immediately*

  • Asbestos land, it's 100% safe that you will get not not get cancer

  • Damn hearing tom say tic tok really shook me to my core

  • 13:02 That "yes" is in wrong color! It should be green.

  • Hol up YMCA was and maybe still is real

  • Dang UK with the BBC tyranny back in the day.

  • 11:52 Tom learns the hard way why you shouldn’t try to be a human fog machine

  • Why is it that is a negative connotation to a company the show or film has to change company's name to be slightly different? Like McDo's.

  • Never thought I would hear Gucci gang, Ymca and Tom scott in the same video

  • 11:45 that made me burst out laughing

  • "with thanks to evan edinger" I KNEW that was his bedroom background!

  • In "Is this an advert" I got every single one wrong.

  • Let's play: is this an advert? Immediately after: a SElists ad.

  • You didn't have to torture yourself with a vape machine for our entertainment

  • You have failed Tom.

  • today on bbc radio "GUCCI, PRADA, ANYTHING DESIGNER"

  • 8:34 What if were to say smth like "Hey, i'm using this cream, and it's great but i hate it". Would that be neutral enough to not be considered an advert?

  • It would be even more great to have doctors be mandated to disclose which pharmaceutical companies have bought them free lunches and business trips to "educational events".

  • Moral of the story; Tom Scott isn't real.

  • If u like this comment u will be lucky

  • Great vid! And only one minute in! 😂

  • Every filmmaker knows-if you SHOW something that have trademark name in any media - its 100% advertising! And when a filmmaker goes to cinema, watch tv series or see some music video- every filmmaker see it. But most people don’t-and that what troubles me a lot. Any way-amazing video with lots of insights, its really a lot of research work and a lot of filmmaking stuff here to, I was really interesting to watch even If I didn’t intend to at the very begining.

  • As soon as I clicked on the vid I. Got an ad

  • This wideo was sponsored by raycan't

  • Every single content is advertising, so no need more specific rules to mark. Need a less rules.

  • I just want to say that the anime film Weathering With You was packed with adverts and it was something really.

    • McDonald's instead of the classic WcDonald's

  • Content

  • 11:45 here is the funny clip of him choking on the vape if your here to just see that.

  • written and performed by tom scott, you really know your humor, cheers mate

  • some part reminded me of anime calling it "Wc Donalds" to avoid some kind of ad declaration (its called WAC just the way its called MAC)

  • So THATS (part of) why Disney World is so oversaturated on social media

  • I literally just got an ad...

  • TV is shite


  • "Is this an advert!?" *SElists ad plays* BY THE TEN

  • "30 years ago" *shows 1992 film fuckin hell im old

  • There is ehek

  • Where did the US FTC declare their adververt for Pinterest at 8:42?

  • Are there still people watching TV?

  • Something that supports this video's views is the fact that you probably didn't even know all of these product placements. Even when they can be obvious you can easily miss it. I for one didn't realize that the conversation about the watch in Casino Royal was a product placement. it just seemed natural and i didn't notice. as opposed the constant FedEx placement in the movie Cast Away where im sure absolutely everyone knew it was placement even without being told

  • tom scott eu te amo

  • Did you have to declare advertising the white cliffs? Joshing of course, excellent video, super interesting!

  • One if your many best... i liked the start of a fish called wanda, when Jon Cleese, ripped product placement.

  • 27:52 Or states (not congress) could pass the exact Laws currently in place.

  • The elegant barbara originally double because billboard speculatively accept besides a obscene sushi. high-pitched, round laugh

  • So obsessed with freedom of speech, some people forget the importance of freedom of choice

  • To be fair, commerical music videos and radio plays ARE advertisements as well as products. The song can be bought. Also, the very act of watching/listening to a music video is cataloged into demographics and sold, (making us and our attention into a product) triggering a payment back to the artist and their various corporate sponsors.

  • Clearly a paid ad for asbestos land

  • What about Fitness-Influencers, who are on Steroids. Shouldn't there be a regulation, because they are influencing people to take drugs?