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

रोजी प्रकाशित केले 15 फेबृवारी, 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:
MRlevel 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, MRlevel 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 MRlevel 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.

  • Wow, Disney, of all company’s, is doing better then the BBC. I had a product placement warning, very clearly, before ,any popping returns a few months ago.

  • I tried to watch the vaping part on 0.25x speed and died trying not to laugh

  • when you realize those last 5 seconds were to meant to give a bad reputation to vaping products, in other words, telling us his opinion and the end of the video, just like an influencer, and we barely noticed. That was his point all along.

  • 11:45 Tom Vaping

  • 11:46 rip tom scott

  • phat vape at 11:45

  • "It's time to play: 'Is this an advert?'" [Target ad plays]

  • Not entirely accurate. In the medical and dental communities experts are absolutely required to identify potential conflicts of interest. I've read many health care journal articles and have been to plenty of seminars where speakers have disclosed relationships with private enterprise. You are right, however in saying that this should be much more commonplace.

  • "is this an advert" instantly gets 2 ads

  • 11:45

  • 11:47 😂

  • 11:47

  • 11:45 Iconic.

  • 11:42 (what you came for)

  • It's mostly because most media hates online media to a T, they have demonized the internet just like books, the written word and phones

  • Waited 15 minutes wondering but yes Wayne’s World was there!

  • So this explains the "radio edit" on the song title.

  • Damn, now I want a sandwich and milkshake...

  • honestly i took like 5 seconds to realize gucci gang had a trademark

  • That coughing when you vaped was hilarious

  • 11:47 That's what you're here for. You're welcome. Don't pretend you weren't.

    • Nope, I was here to see Tom Scott talk about adverts for 30 minutes

  • Because we already paid for it?

  • Government giving the same rules to everyone, yea that's never gonna happen. Good luck, though.

  • I really hope that at some point of his life, Tom will be knighted. Maybe that requires social media platforms to become more recognized my the mainstream, but i could see that happening when current generations grow up. If that happens I really can't name a bigger, better or higher quality influencer on this platform right now. If one of his videos like this ends up starting something big which I seriously believe could happen, I'd bank on it even more.

  • This vape contains no nicotine or flavor... just 100% pure THC.

  • MRlevelrs and influencers are mainly young people and the gov't has no qualms about restricting young people.

  • do you vape? No I dabble in mouth operating fog machines

  • Fantastic video. Bless you for the 30 Rock bits. By the way, I was eating a delicious snack of M&Ms chocolate candy throughout which I washed down with some Starbucks vanilla Frappuccino bottled beverage. Really satisfied my sweet tooth.

  • 11:34

  • "There is UGGGHHHHGGGTGD* -Tom scott 2021

  • why do brits say advert as shorthand for advertisement instead of simply "ad"

  • 11:46

  • Is this an advert? *Actual Advert plays

  • The Worst sponsorship has got to be raycons i lose a bit of respect for anyone pushing that trash on fans.

  • step one of vaping: Don't talk while vaping

  • 11:46

  • Tom Scott should start a political party called “The Fair Party”. I’d vote for it!

  • I think that "everyone draws the line just below themselves" is a bit cynical and I'm not sure we have reason to believe it's not just "everyone acts just above the line they would draw".

  • why are you standing in a shirt outside when its so cold

  • I actually really appreciate that scene from Wayne's World because it was such a perfect representation of this.

  • 16:39 what about jerry seinfeld producing seinfeld starring jerry seinfeld who plays jerry seinfeld

  • *11:46* 😂😂

  • 11:46 is why you came here

  • Tom kinda looks like Owen Wilson...

  • funny how breaking copyright law is on the same list as inducing suicide, pedophila and manipulating major powers

  • Emily in Paris got awards because they flew to Paris and treated really nicely the ones in charge of the awards.

  • 11:46

  • 11:46

  • Tom: "And now, time to play 'is this an adver..." *Interrupted by an advert*

  • Fantastic video bud

  • I got an ad for making ads on this video...

  • MRlevel is not a private platform, nor are the vast majority of Corporations.

  • 11:45

  • 11:45

  • damn tom scott hit a fattie

  • For those of us who pay for a MRlevel 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 (MRlevel vid vs broadcast TV show or movie). MRlevel 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?" *MRlevel 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 MRlevelrs , 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 MRlevelrs 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 MRlevelrs 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 MRlevelrs 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.

  • MRlevel 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