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Paid product placements and endorsements

You may include paid product placements or endorsements in your video content. All product placements will need to conform to our ad policies. You will also have to comply with any applicable laws and regulations (be sure to check because in some cases paid placements may not even be allowed). YouTube may disable videos with paid product placements and endorsements in certain cases.

What do we mean when we talk about paid product placements?

Paid product placements can be described as pieces of content that are created [specifically] for a third party and/or where that third party's brand, message, or product is integrated directly into the content. A typical example of a paid product placement is one in which a marketer pays you (or provides other non-monetary advantages or incentives) to specifically mention their product or brand in what would normally be the editorial part of the content.

What do we mean when we talk about endorsements?

Endorsements can 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. A typical example of an endorsement is one in which a marketer pays a creator, celebrity or athlete to promote, use, review or even just experience their product or service and/or where the marketer has had editorial influence over your content, has included their brand or logo in your content or has paid for your creation of such content or the ability to upload their content into your channel.

Do I need to notify YouTube if a video has a paid product placement, endorsement, or other commercial relationship?

Yes, you can notify us by checking the appropriate box in your video's Advanced Settings tab.

Do I need to notify anyone else about any commercial relationship connected to my video?

Maybe. Different jurisdictions have various requirements for creators and marketers involved in paid product placements and endorsements. For example, paid product placement may not be allowed in certain types of content or may not be allowed for certain types of products or services. Where your content does include paid product placements or endorsements we don't want viewers to feel misled and that means being upfront and honest about any commercial relationship that might have influenced or contributed to your content – be that editorially or financially. So, be sure to check your local rules and use our tools to help you comply with your legal and regulatory requirements.

Will YouTube still run ads against these videos?

In some cases a paid product placement or endorsement can create a conflict with ads that YouTube otherwise sells and serves to monetized videos. 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. To protect the value we offer advertisers, in these situations YouTube may disable monetization and promotion on videos with such product placements.

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 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.

The marketer or sponsor wants to have a title card before or after the video with their brand name and product information. Is this ok?

We allow static title cards and end cards where there is a paid product placement or endorsement 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 should be 0:05s 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 are also allowed within the last 0:30s of the video and must be static only.

Is this open to all users?

Yes, as are all of these tools which you may wish to consider to help satisfy any disclosure obligations so your viewers understand when they’re watching content which includes paid product placements, endorsements, and/or sponsorships.

Additional resources

For further information you can check out the FTC (United States) and CAP (United Kingdom).

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