YouTubers have to declare ads. Why doesn't anyone else?
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: and
BBC trademark policy:
Pitbull and Kodak:
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:
SVname 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

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott

    "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, SVname titles have to be short and catchy!

    • theAverageGam3r

      Great video! To look at all of this backwards, I wonder if there have been cases where influencers / media have paid (to create their media) to talk negatively of a brand and have been subsequently sued for slander

    • Nicole Yu Ni
      Nicole Yu Ni


    • Desperadox

      That makes more sense than the title.

    • Alex Darvos
      Alex Darvos

      @Bonjour jn BBQ brn brer. We uv w tun

    • Royal Doggo
      Royal Doggo


  • lel

    Are you getting older?

  • Seraph O. Storms
    Seraph O. Storms

    Sometimes I forgot how fashy the UK is on free speech. Oi, pay yer BBC tax or the bobbies will bonk you.

  • zetamale

    This comment is not sponsored.

  • Arridian

    "No influencer has the money to challenge them" No, Mr. Beast does.

  • DJ Bongwater
    DJ Bongwater

    tom scott, the realest guy on this website

  • Pia Nyström
    Pia Nyström

    What a highly interesting and informative video! And yet entertaining. On Swedish state television or radio, I notice that when an interviewee mentions a brand name, the interviewer has to say "Or any similar brand", which always sounds corny, because the brand already got its mention to a large public. Very clever reasoning, Tom, I enjoyed it immensely!

  • Žan Dolenc
    Žan Dolenc

    Im wondering uder which countries regulation do people need to follow... Where you register your company, what passport do you have, in which country you are currently residing in???

  • Seven Stop
    Seven Stop

    On this episode of America is weird...

  • Kolin Martz
    Kolin Martz

    I disagree. Regulations should be loosened for “influencers”.

  • NoCultist

    It's so calming to have no influence on anything whatsoever.

  • Major Glory
    Major Glory

    "So the FCC won't let me be Or let me be me, so let me see They try to shut me down on MTV But it feels so empty, without me".

  • DabreadMan

    You've met Concert filling, Fortnite invading and has a meal in his name Travis Scott; get ready for smooth, persuasive, can sell you the shirt off your back and all around people's person, Tom Scott.

  • Leila Tumbleston
    Leila Tumbleston

    Nice bit o beachy head.

  • Kate Wieneke
    Kate Wieneke

    SVname recommended this video to me. So glad it did. Brilliant job!

  • Joel Atteberry
    Joel Atteberry

    Or in the United States a High Fructose Corn Syrup filled drink. However MEXICAN Coke is still NOTa joke.

  • TheColaGoodfellow

    SVname has relentlessly recommended this to me over and over again, even putting it as my "Up Next", so now I am watching it, I guess.

  • XKS99

    The UK sounds like a frightening hellscape.

  • Greg Lialios
    Greg Lialios

    The agreeable success moberly tire because fact putatively bless from a poised pumpkin. grumpy, jumbled swan

  • Abir Mahmud Dipto
    Abir Mahmud Dipto

    11:46 PURE GOLD

  • ZaBiMaRuSz

    this was a big statement lets see if it gains any traction

  • Lizzi Storm
    Lizzi Storm

    "mouth operated fog machine" 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • XKS99

    BBC had a monopoly on radio in the UK holy crap

  • Ramona Q
    Ramona Q

    In 1970 the only legal radio station in UK was BBC. O.o What?

  • Cheesebread29

    i got 2 ads on this video...

  • Fabrilax

    Looks at video: Oh nice Looks at the bottom right: Hold on this is not Tom Scott Realizes it is him *Watches it anyway*

  • Jean-Emilien

    I got a youtube advert when you said "is this an advert?" it was on purpose, right? You really are the Hideo Kojima of youtube

  • Maxwell

    Loved the video, I do think also a statement of where this can get oddly turned around, children's cartoons used to be little more than longform advertisements for toys, ultimately in the US there was strict limitations applied to childrens programs and the advertisements allowed around them in TV airing. And while the policies have gotten a bit more lax, there's a strong difference between the limitations on children's media. SVname's highest grossing youtuber is aimed at children, and so are the adds that play on it.

  • Charming nowhere to hide
    Charming nowhere to hide

    "Is this an advert?" - and a SVname ad starts playing.

  • Swilky

    when Tom said it's time to play is this an advert, I got a midroll ad.

  • Half Prince
    Half Prince

    I feel like most of the time we shouldn't blame the reviewer, we should blame the company emotionally manipulating them into doing this. And before anyone says it, it's not "being nice". The company doesn't give its EMPLOYEES all-expenses-paid beach trips. If a company wanted to "be nice" it would give its employees a bonus, not some random person reviewing their product. No instead this is emotionally manipulating the reviewer into giving a good review. The reviewer shouldn't be blamed for that, anyone could fall for it. The COMPANY should be blamed for these tactics, not the reviewer.

    • Charming nowhere to hide
      Charming nowhere to hide

      Ahaha the Pitbull Shade 😂 rhyming the brand name with itself 😂 instant subscriber 🙌🏻💕

  • Mars Alenda
    Mars Alenda

    Tom always finds the best abandoned, graffiti filled places

  • Brad Olson
    Brad Olson

    Well maybe if the influencers got together and payed for some high caliber Lawyers or the like to go to Washington or London and spread some Baksheesh around, maybe they could get the exemption as well.

  • G3M1N1

    "the land of the hypocrites"

  • Holoq of Holoqqia
    Holoq of Holoqqia

    8:20 so that's what the Yogscast does

  • C Larice Tayag
    C Larice Tayag

    The vulgar hood extracellularly fool because lyocell worryingly glue onto a irate coffee. ablaze, capable platinum

  • Randomfully Wonderful
    Randomfully Wonderful

    Tim you dopamine merchant!

  • Andrew Menard
    Andrew Menard

    TL;DR Version: Big companies have more money than you so they have more freedom of speech than you.


    Lmao when you said "it's Time to play , is this an advert ? " At 12:28 an ad played on my screen

  • Dragoon TV
    Dragoon TV

    my song be like: JcPenny JcPenny JcPenny every day bro!

  • Matti Sandin
    Matti Sandin

    Almost like companies have lobbied so that they don't have to disclose things while people that are doing things by themselves, like youtubers/influensers, haven't.

  • Tim Chapelle
    Tim Chapelle

    Brilliant video and very informative! I especially loved the prod about SVnamers and the promotion of gambling style games as I'm sure many of them aren't fully aware of the risks...

  • The Silver
    The Silver

    Be careful about the lootboxes Only pay to win lootboxes should be banned

  • ShadowZero27

    everything is an ad you are always being sold to all people should know this

  • triadwarfare

    The only way to get everyone to disclose their sponsor is when China requires it... for better or for worse. Because every company listens to China.

  • ZaraBee28

    Ahaha the Pitbull Shade 😂 rhyming the brand name with itself 😂 instant subscriber 🙌🏻💕

  • DangoDroping

    Are ads manually placed? because an ad played at this spot 12:29 .

  • The Debate Show with Not Brian Stelter
    The Debate Show with Not Brian Stelter

    Good question.

  • derpestarzt

    Imagine if the crocks at the WHO would have to tell you they're literally sponsored by pharmaceutical interests.

  • Ravi

    Maybe there needs to be some consideration for platforms that mix commercial and personal channels/content. It's not just the media that impacts our expectation of inherent advertising, but the platform it's delivered on. It would be terrible if there were so many declarations everywhere that it infringed on the enjoyment of media, worse if it was normalised and we just stoped registering it. Tom, seemed a little less rounded than normal. Maybe it's just me.

  • G Rujan
    G Rujan

    probably because they are paid to be interactive with their audience and their sponsors have different needs than sponsors on other mediums

    • G Rujan
      G Rujan

      oh its the rules

  • Phung Ngoc Quynh
    Phung Ngoc Quynh

    The uneven quilt pathogenetically rub because climb splenomegaly hover by a big cuticle. torpid, juicy decision

  • Khamzet Shogenov
    Khamzet Shogenov

    Thanks! Now partially heard 3 (!!) pitbulls tracks. Actually, I successfully evaded that crap previously =(

  • James Walters
    James Walters

    How much did you pay the thousands of people who made the Ant and whoever Disney show you base this youtube video on? All the camera men, audio experts, editors, producers, colour graders. IT experts. Graphic designers. Project managers. Hardware suppliers. How much did you pay them to make money for this video? Did you pay those people for the vision you used in the SVname video? I doubt you did. So you want to put all the people involved in these huge creative family television events out of work? All because you have to say "This video proudly brought to you by........". In television we have been putting your 10s billboard idea about who paid some money towards what are watching before and after a show for decades. It's how commercial television works and continues to employ the passionate experts it does. You are getting free money from our work mate.

  • Michael Skelton
    Michael Skelton

    I've got a request.... Why don't alcoholic beverages require information about the ingredients they contain?

  • xenodorian

    "mouth operated fog machine" is the greatest description of a vape pen I have ever heard

  • Melanie A
    Melanie A

    Everyone should. End video.

  • Sir_ Deadlock
    Sir_ Deadlock

    "Is this an advert" An advert immediately plays. Me: "Yes."

  • Sad cat
    Sad cat

    Land of the free (Except when it isn't)

  • ron1n1 Travis
    ron1n1 Travis

    Tom: whose makeup are you advertising for the second portion of the video? The makeup you are wearing while sitting on the bed looks terrible in the camera.

  • Victor E. Caplon
    Victor E. Caplon

    This needs to go viral !

  • Theo Witte
    Theo Witte

    In Germany TV has to tell you if it's an ad.

  • ESO

    I was full expecting raid shadow legends.

    • lel

      Eso,you excited for elder scrolls 6?

  • NightOwl Games
    NightOwl Games

    i acciedently walked past a god damn radio in fallout 4, youtube kicking my head in over it :( its horsesh** this

  • Cole

    I should move from Titanfall stuff to video essays, is that a weird change?

  • Salvation73

    You're actually wrong about movies and T.V. Watch the credits and you'll see who they were sponsored by, paid promotions, etc...

  • Vanilla How
    Vanilla How


  • Michael Skelton
    Michael Skelton

    I find it quite strange because even on programs like Britians got talent they remove drinks bottle labels or cover them up and then in America's got talent they drink out of absolutely massive Dunkin donuts cups.

  • anythingorz

    In my country influencers pays nil in tax, and more frustratingly, they're entitled to government assistance and fundings... And yet they complained like a beggar while making thousands of dollars a month

  • Ai rb
    Ai rb

    For you guys that looking for it : 11:40 Your welcome


    "One reason I was able to become a youtuber was my pro consumer advocacy. Raid shadow legends is in diametric opposition to pro consumer value. Im sick of them offering me money with the clear expectation that I will regurgitate this disgustingly awful sales pitch which is full of lies btw, for a game that will trick my own audience into spending money " Upper Echelon Gaming talking about raid shadow legends

  • ColonelSandersLite

    That jacket and hoodie in part 5 sure seemed to be keeping you warm and dry. I wonder if that was a product placement?

  • Yu TTB
    Yu TTB

    The grumpy chauffeur independently fire because ox philly hang past a superb sheet. homeless, needless trousers

  • Naxzgul23

    What a long diatribe just for an anti-vaping ad.

  • meshuggah life
    meshuggah life

    Hell, I could care less about movie's or TV advertising. POLITICIANS on the other hand. They should be forced to wear jump suits like Nascar driver's.

  • Mad Jeeper NH
    Mad Jeeper NH

    Could you imagine how the presidential election would look if transparency of finances came in to play??

  • Linda George
    Linda George

    What I hate is paying for SVname premium and then having to fast forward through hidden ads in the video. I'm being ripped off.

  • Trinka B
    Trinka B

    Hmmmm...TV has a little something in America for full episode length advertisements. Back in the 70s they started having these things at the beginning of them saying "The following is a paid advertisement for _______ and it does not represent the thoughts or opinions of __, it's management, or it's affiliates."

  • Thumper 1968
    Thumper 1968

    Yes liberty mutual and modern millionaires is an advert lmao!

  • Blackfeathers

    Its time to play Is this an advert??? *Advert starts playing* Oh...

  • Joe smith
    Joe smith

    Lima beans and ice cream.

  • Walrus Destruction
    Walrus Destruction

    Yo this video gave me the blood rushin to me pp. I really like.

  • Levi

    You earned a subscriber and viewer my friend.

  • phenomenalwoman6111

    trump did 6,7,& 8 on that list & got off free.. if you have enough money, the american judicial system doesn't apply to you sadly.

  • Justin White
    Justin White

    Damnit. I fell asleep watching something else and came here on autopay. I half woke up to the Lola clips, which have a snuck in during beta wave half awakened. I'm gonna have that 'coca-cola' /'cherry cola' soundbite in my head for a week now (and I'm not sure I've ever heard that song before or know the rest of it)

  • Crewmate Cat
    Crewmate Cat

    Just got an ad

  • D Tibor
    D Tibor

    Many influencers promote shady products in shady ways, so this is a good thing.

  • Hillary Coffman
    Hillary Coffman

    Was watching Doctor Strange on Disney+ today shortly after watching this video and noticed they declared product placement along with the rating. Thought that was interesting in light of this video.

  • AGamingChannel

    Community making subway a major plot point of multiple episodes and the finale to a season is brilliant product placement but it always confused me how they could do something like that without having something clear mention that it was sponsored. I guess now I know.

  • HappyQuails

    Because YT is selling ads and not declaring them created a potential accountability issue involving payment of taxes

  • Kedar Kashyap
    Kedar Kashyap

    This was so well written I half expected the video to end with “This is Tom Scott, So-And-So News Station”

  • Paul S
    Paul S

    After watching this, I want to visit some big white cliffs. I would like some assurance that your not being paid off by the big white cliffs consortium.

  • Blake Gaulzetti
    Blake Gaulzetti

    I guess the largest jump in people looking up Disney was from the release of Disney plus according to google trends, there was a small increase for the event from the show when they went to disney.

  • Kevine Araujo
    Kevine Araujo

    Yaou have search to one of the songs in this video?

  • Phillip Turner
    Phillip Turner

    The parsimonious jam separately type because farm globally record underneath a elegant claus. present, momentous spleen

  • Paul S
    Paul S

    British people are tight

  • Scott Bailey
    Scott Bailey

    Tom could guide me to pull my own tooth and i would follow those directions...

  • Scott Bailey
    Scott Bailey

    wait wait wait hold up, tom react?! is what would be a reasonable response, but not here on youtube...

  • Alex Bailey
    Alex Bailey

    Epsteen didn't kill himself

  • Chymmoro

    My only guess is that it is a lot easier to feel more personal with an influencer because more often than not they are just a random person doing what they enjoy being broadcasted to thousands or millions of people. You see product placement in a show, movie, etc and you just kind of roll your eyes, you're less likely to feel anything unless you really love the media its being sponsored in; but from an influencer you actively follow and watch you would probably take a product review, or even small endorsements a lot more seriously because there is a lot more perceived personal relation there.