Dan and Phil, who present a show on Radio 1 on Sundays / Charlie Forgham-Bailey

Radio 1 DJs Dan and Phil were criticised by Advertising Standards Authority for not sufficiently flagging that a video was an advert

Video bloggers are on the rise. And the British advertising watchdog might just have seriously upset them.

The Advertising Standards Authority said that YouTube vloggers’ must flag more clearly one of their key sources of revenue — paid-for advertising, by mentioning brands in videos.

The ruling particularly concerned an Oreo ‘lick race challenge’, a campaign run by Oreo-owner Mondelēz, which saw vloggers including Radio 1 presenters Dan and Phil try to eat an Oreo cookie as quickly as possible. The ASA said that the videos didn’t clearly indicate there was a commercial relationship between the advertiser and the vloggers.

Because the advert appeared on a format that is usually non-promotional, the advert should have been labelled as such, the ASA said. Dan and Phil updated the video’s description today to show with the note: “This is a paid for advertisement”.


The ASA said: “In this case because the ads were on online video channels that were usually non-promotional, the commercial intent should have been made clear before viewers clicked on the content”.

When an advertiser has paid for and has editorial control over content, the ASA said, it has to be made clear that it is an advert and that the ASA can step in to regulate it. The ruling should be in vloggers’ interest, the ASA said, because vloggers build their fan base on their authenticity and so not telling fans about their commercial relationships could destroy their reputation.

Dan and Phil are one of a number of video bloggers that have conquered YouTube and are looking to broaden their success. Others have launched books and other tie-ins.