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Paid product placements and endorsements

Note: This article was updated on October 4, 2016, for clarity purposes and to announce an additional paid promotion disclosure feature. There are no changes to our long-standing Paid Promotion policies.

You may include paid product placements, endorsements, or other content that requires disclosure to viewers ("Paid Promotion") in your video content. If you do, we require you to notify YouTube by checking the "video contains paid promotion" box in your Advanced Settings using the instructions below.

All Paid Promotion needs to conform to our Ad Policies.  In addition, creators and brands are responsible for understanding and complying with their legal obligations to disclose Paid Promotion in their content, including when and how to disclose and to whom to disclose (so be sure to check and comply with your legal obligations).

What has changed?
There are no changes to our long-standing Paid Promotion policies.
We now have an additional paid promotion disclosure feature that creators can use to help inform viewers when they're watching content that includes Paid Promotion.
What do we mean when we talk about paid product placements & endorsements?

Paid product placements may be described as pieces of content that are created for a third party in exchange for compensation, and/or where that third party's brand, message, or product is integrated directly into the content.

Endorsements may be described as pieces of content created for an advertiser or marketer that contain a message that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, or experiences of the content creator or endorser.

Please know that laws that apply to you may define paid product placements and endorsements differently. Creators and brands are responsible for understanding and fully complying with legal obligations to disclose Paid Promotion in their content according to their jurisdiction, including when and how to disclose and to whom to disclose.
Do I need to notify YouTube if a video has a paid product placement, endorsement, or other commercial relationship?
Yes. As has always been the case,  you must notify YouTube by checking the "video contains paid promotion" box under "Content declaration" in your Advanced Settings, using these instructions:
  1. On a computer, sign in to your YouTube account.
  2. Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account icon > Creator Studio > Video Manager.
  3. Next to the video, select Edit.
  4. Under the video, select the Advanced Settings tab. 
  5. Go to the “Content declaration” section and check the box for This video contains paid promotion such as paid product placement, sponsorships or endorsement.

For information on why you need to notify YouTube, refer to the "What happens when I check the 'Content declaration' box?" section.

What happens when I check the "Content declaration" box?
When you check the "video contains paid promotion" box under the "Content declaration" section in your Advanced Settings, you’re helping us maintain a great viewer experience.
We will still run ads against these videos. When you notify us that a video includes paid promotion, we may replace an ad that conflicts with your brand partner with an alternative ad. Additionally, when you notify us, we will remove your video from the YouTube Kids app in line with our existing policies.
Will YouTube still run ads against these videos?
Yes, YouTube will still run ads against these videos.
In some cases, to protect the value we offer advertisers, we may replace an ad that conflicts with your brand partner with an alternative ad on videos with Paid Promotions.
For example, if you upload a video with brand mentions and product placements for Car Company A, then it would present a conflict to sell ad space around that video to Car Company B.
Do I need to notify anyone else about any commercial relationship connected to my video?
You may need to. Different jurisdictions have various requirements for creators and brands involved in Paid Promotion. 
Where your content does include Paid Promotion, some jurisdictions and brand partners require that you inform viewers about any commercial relationship that might have influenced or contributed to your content – be that editorially or financially. It's your responsibility to check and comply with laws and regulations around Paid Promotion content that apply to you. See additional resources below.
Is there a feature that can help me inform viewers about Paid Promotion in my videos?

Yes. We now offer an additional feature that enables creators to opt-in to a visible disclosure for viewers, which appears as a text overlay for the first few seconds when a viewer watches the video.

You can choose to add the paid promotion disclosure to any new or existing videos without having to upload a new video. If you add the paid promotion disclosure to an existing video, the video will keep its view count and other video metrics. 

Use the paid promotion disclosure feature by following these instructions:

  1. For any new or existing video that contains Paid Promotion, follow the steps above to check the "video contains paid promotion" box.
  2. You'll see a second checkbox that says Help me inform viewers of paid promotion by adding a disclosure to this video.
  3. Check this box to add a 10-second text disclosure on your video that says “Includes paid promotion." 
  4. Viewers will see this when they start watching the video on a computer or the latest version of the YouTube mobile app.

Note: Even if you use the paid promotion disclosure feature, keep in mind that different jurisdictions have various requirements for creators and brands involved in Paid Promotion that may require you to do more, so be sure to check and follow applicable laws. 

Does this mean I can burn video ads (pre-rolls, mid rolls and post rolls) into my videos?
No. YouTube's Ads Policy does not allow you to burn or embed advertiser-created and supplied video ads into your content or other commercial breaks where YouTube offers similar ad formats. If you have an advertiser interested in serving ads specifically against your content, please work with your partner manager to facilitate the transaction. See more information on our policies around third party embedded sponsorships.
This policy does not apply to videos created by or for brands and uploaded to the brand's YouTube channel. 
Can I use a title card before/after the video with the marketer's or sponsor's brand name & product information?
Yes. We allow static title cards and end cards where there is a Paid Promotion for the purpose of disclosing this relationship or other sponsor or marketer attribution for the underlying content. These title cards and end cards can be graphical and contain the sponsor or marketer's logo and product branding.
  • Title cards: Five seconds or less and static. If they are placed at the beginning of the video (0:01s), the card must be co-branded with the creator's name/logo.
  • End cards: Placed within the last 30 seconds of the video and must be static. 
Are the disclosure feature and static title cards open to all users?
Yes. The paid promotion disclosure feature and static title cards are open to all users, and you can also edit your video. You may wish to consider using these features to help viewers understand that they're watching content that includes Paid Promotion.
Additional resources
For further information, refer to your local legal resources, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) in the United Kingdom, the Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes (DGCCRF) in France, or the media authorities Medienanstalten in Germany.
 
The information presented in this Help Center article is not legal advice. We provide it for informational purposes so you may wish to check with your own legal representatives.
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