Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Zoella is breaking advertising standard rules on her vlog

Zoella And Alfie Deyes Would Be Breaking Big Rules If They Were On Actual TV

The Debrief: Vloggers' adverts aren't suitable for kids, experts say. Ok, well, let's make it easier for them to turn down money from greedy sweet companies...

Zoella is a self-made celebrity, so she’s not got all the bigwigs and supremos that come with, say, an X Factor winner, to keep things in check. Same goes for Alfie Deyes, her boyfriend. Which probably explains why both their vlogs feature the sort of adverts – for sugary food and gambling - that might not be considered massively suitable for younger watchers. 

According to an investigation by the i paper, the adverts vloggers’ fans sit through before getting to the actual video would defy the rules of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) if they appeared on TV. So why are they still on vlogs?

Well, it’s not precisely Zoella – or Alfie’s problem – and it’s worth noticing that way too many headlines about this story are focusing on Zoella, because she should apparently know better. In fact, neither are doing anything zillions of vloggers aren’t doing – but by being blissfully unaware of the fact that young kids are seeing adverts on her site – automatically put there by YouTube – that would be considered damaging elsewhere, they’re inadvertently making money from brands who are looking for ways around selling their products to kids - and aren't allowed to do so on the TV anymore.

The gist is, if vlog fans weren’t already getting obese sitting behind their computers watching vlogs all day, they’re also getting messages sent directly to them, telling them to gorge on fatty foods.

‘Regulations about online advertising need to mirror that of TV advertising,’ Graham MacGregor, chairman for Action on Sugar told the i.

And yeah, we agree, but also, shouldn’t it be easier for vloggers – most of whom are still working on their own rather than as part of a big organisation (despite millions in the bank and even more fans)  - to opt out of showing their fans crappy adverts?

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