The UK is taking YouTubers to task for their shady sponsorship deals

YouTube creators have ever more power to influence their followers

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has unleashed a new set of guidelines for YouTubers and other video blogger who are paid to promote certain products.

These tastemakers, whose videos often have millions of plays, are more or less totally unregulated, with no rules whatsoever governing whether they disclose exactly who is paying them for what.

But the UK authority says as of now video makers must make it clear when they're being paid to promote certain products.

This is a big problem in the tech world, but - funny enough - the BBC says a BBC Newsround report on video bloggers who didn't disclose they were paid to promote Oreo cookies is what sparked the ASA's investigation in the first place.

'Built on authenticity'

Sponsored videos need to be identified in their titles by the inclusion of words like "ad" or "promo," or with a symbol on the video thumbnail that clearly delineates them as ads, the ASA says.

"Vloggers often have huge followings built on authenticity, built on them providing interesting, funny, natural content," said ASA Director of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs Lynsay Taffe.

"We think it's only fair that when they start promoting stuff on behalf of a brand - which is absolutely fine for them to do - that they do so in a way that's clear and upfront with their audience."

Of course this is going to be a bit difficult to enforce, given exactly how many videos there are on YouTube, but the ASA has reportedly promised to monitor online videos more closely in the future.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.