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:
ISnets 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, ISnets titles have to be short and catchy!

    • skylx08

      Only time I heard the lyrics "Does your chewing gum loose its flavor on the bedpost..." was in the Ray Stevens song "A-Hab the A-Rab". ...unclench, its from the 70s.

    • linkbirds

      We gotchu fam

    • JoseitoEdlVodao

      Because you guys haven't lobbied deep enough. Do you realize you're their competition? I don't have to watch the video but hey, is it easier than Time Zone logic?

    • 0623kaboom

      btw north america does have a law that says paid promotion must be declared on all media ... yup those but wait theres more commercials are disclaimed as paid promotions ... just because the UK doesnt have them doesnt mean no one does ...

    • 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

  • The Lions Kiln
    The Lions Kiln

    hankering for a subway sandwich...

  • Altar Parssoy
    Altar Parssoy

    are you elizabeth holmes in disguise?

  • Aggressive Soul
    Aggressive Soul

    Tom figured life way back in 2013.

  • Scrynoza

    Tom is getting increasingly funnier every video.

  • BUckY

    "is this an advert?" *gets youtube mid roll ad*

  • Szabolcs Horváth
    Szabolcs Horváth

    Even the title is wrong, do your background research. I'll help you to start: most tv programs must also declare if they include any product promotions otherwise the tv channel gets prosecuted by the media authorities.

    • Szabolcs Horváth
      Szabolcs Horváth

      But yes, I understand you wanted to complain and lament about how hard is your life making money with yt videos, but somehow i can't really feel your pain, sorry.

  • domi

    if someone or a company invites you for a free weekend of vacation with free food, it is a payment, They pay you with food. if you may try a product and you have to give it back after this, it is NOT payment, but if you may keep it it is payment.

  • Sanketh BR
    Sanketh BR

    Came from MKBHD's podcast. Was worth it

  • Lowmanification

    Fun fact. If you look in the comments and see hundreds of people already posted the same comment, you don't need to post it.

  • Shamut on EV’s
    Shamut on EV’s

    ADVERTISING is DOOMED, discuss

  • Kerry Fry
    Kerry Fry

    Is Tom Scott advertising Tom Scott?

  • seriously? really?
    seriously? really?

    Well contructed arguements. Well said Tom. The audience is often deceived into product placement as also a way of "lending authenticity" to the movie world created by the producers, directors, and actors in the entertainment. That is, in this world, there is Coca-Cola being served at their backyard barbecue just like in you would serve up Coca-Cola in your backyard barbecue. The ubiquitous products and brands that exists in our world blurs reality in a constructed world.

  • Healthycarrier Ofthedeepestblue
    Healthycarrier Ofthedeepestblue

    Here in Italy they do it in TV as well.

  • Dániel Kovács
    Dániel Kovács

    8:50 So... having a lava lamp in your background could count as an endorsement for lava lamps?

  • nman4k

    The answer, is always, CAPITALISM

  • random user
    random user

    "this video ain't sponsor" now let me show u a game called raid shadow legends

  • hen ko
    hen ko

    Right after Tom said “it’s time to guess, is this an advert?”, I got an advert from ISnets.

  • slowfuse

    this says alot about are society

  • siinnz

    Tom, I understand entirely what you are getting at here, but the problems of disinformation or lies on the internet are immense. Lies are more important to remove than advertising. The problem is a lot of advertising is lies.......

  • Dorissa Claire
    Dorissa Claire

    Recently been bingeing some TV shows and the product placement sticking out like WHAM! I could not figure out why they kept zooming in on the lunchables logo and then I realized there’s PRODUCT PLACEMENT! And was like “woah so weird they didn’t have to say anything about that”

  • Bradford Chadwell
    Bradford Chadwell

    The amount of checkmarks in this comment section is insane

  • Sheng He
    Sheng He

    What happens if you are doing a product review? You will be mentioning the brand name.

  • Seefood

    Excellent vid as always! I just started wetting my own toes in youtube creation, and now I wonder what the law says in Israel, though I didn't even think of selling out just yet, one needs to be prepared. Now I'm suddenly feeling I really need a vacation, and I haven't been to the UK in over a decade, and I suddenly really want to get to Dover. Hmm...

  • InternetTAB

    I'm so hardcore i rhyme face with face, i rhyme face four times now get outta my face

  • Deepanshu Jain
    Deepanshu Jain

    Ring door bell = mark rober


    You can be a good voice actor for " Legion" the geth

  • Deepanshu Jain
    Deepanshu Jain

    Where are Nord vpn, shark vpn, raid shadow legends....

  • Deepanshu Jain
    Deepanshu Jain

    What extensive research, what a structure, this video is lot more than its titile!!!!

  • beach bowl
    beach bowl

    when the impostor was cough😲🥱😪🥱😒😖😒😲😲😲😲😲👨‍🏭👩‍🎤👩‍🎤👩‍🎨👨‍💻👩‍💼👩‍💼👨‍🌾👨‍🔬👨‍💼👩‍🎤👨‍🎤👩‍🎨👩‍🎨👩‍💼👩‍🎨👩‍🚒

  • Nathaiel Laughton
    Nathaiel Laughton

    Great video but if we wanted to make our voices heard so that TV and movies etc couldn't get away with adverts coated in entertainment any longer, who exactly would we contact? And wouldn't it be better if a lot of us did it in unison?

  • Joshua Brooks
    Joshua Brooks

    This dude is such a square. I love it.

  • Kendall Lease
    Kendall Lease

    I had to watch 2 Ford ads to watch this 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Romantic Secret
    Romantic Secret

    Love how before the video started- I got an Ad😩

  • Ryan

    Goodness me, Tom. 30 minutes? Are you upset?

  • Japanese Guacamole
    Japanese Guacamole

    Did you go to Dover JUST to make sure there's nothing behind you that could be construed as product placement?

  • Bob Jones
    Bob Jones

    Well done, and well said. Just my $0.02 (is that advertising money?)

  • RR Extra
    RR Extra

    You know nothing about YT Suppression.

  • Pedro270707

    DISGUI$ED GAMBLING GAME is better than raid shadow legends wow

  • Mason Kratz
    Mason Kratz

    This video is not exciting. There's not much information here that I'm not already aware of. For some reason I still enjoy enjoy watching it.

  • Redtex4

    "Don’t vape kids" - the real message of this video

  • Pora Eroz
    Pora Eroz

    hmm.. does anybody know where i can find a google?

    • Butterfly Effect
      Butterfly Effect

      Definitely Microsoft

  • LoneMadMightTheMr.CutsieGuy

    Programmes are not allowed to advertise and or sponsor a product,unless there is double standards involved.

  • syythex

    Is this an ad- *ad plays* yes..yes it is

  • No Face
    No Face

    ISnets Premium fee doesn"t seem so bad now.

  • rnuk

    i got 2 ads right in the start

  • Maunster!

    No one should be allowed to trademark any word, spearmint, apple, windows, etc.

  • DeNisey BLM-MyLifeMatters
    DeNisey BLM-MyLifeMatters

    Did you really choke?

  • rhade2k

    12:31 got an advert then

  • Pandaoniman

    You make some good points. However, I still think Gucci Gang shouldn't get air time.

  • lobster whisperer
    lobster whisperer

    Its virtually impossible to find honest reviews on ISnets, try finding a negetive review, they are as rare as hens teeth..shills dominate this space.

  • Zane Williams
    Zane Williams


  • crematorium

    you had me at chiId gambling

  • djones02

    Product placements in TV shows is not classy. It's tacky and everyone notices.

  • Paul Robinson
    Paul Robinson

    Mmmm, So why don't BBC state every news cast that they take money from the Government, to get your perception in line with government Agenda? Strange eh!

  • Sean Halldorson
    Sean Halldorson

    Tom Scott is one of the few ISnetsrs that can keep my attention for a 30+ minute video. I typically hate long videos, but his are always really interesting.

  • Dr Delewded
    Dr Delewded

    Too many regulations.. nonsense

  • Dr Delewded
    Dr Delewded

    This guy looks like julian assange, im out.

  • El Bashar
    El Bashar

    "Is this an advert?" *Godaddy ad proceeds to play* Perfect timing.

  • CBM

    I have a sudden urge to bulk buy red t-shirts.

  • Eric Meyer
    Eric Meyer

    It's ya boy. Raid Shadow Legends!

  • TheMightyKinkle

    31:32 'With thanks to Evan Edinger' I thought I recognised that bedroom!

  • Max Hülle
    Max Hülle

    Don't speak with smoke in your lungs Tom!

  • NC_29 North
    NC_29 North

    We just liked GME

  • Pat B
    Pat B

    Why do so many people seem hellbent on making our music and movies and other content, and the world in general, so mind-numbing? Is the extra cash really worth it? Is this the world you want to create for others as well as yourselves?

  • TheMightyKinkle

    12:31 "Is this an advert?" *Download Audible for free with your 30 day free trial* Wow!

  • NC_29 North
    NC_29 North

    This comment is not sponsored.

  • John Dwyer
    John Dwyer

    I love the bit about the ring doorbell.

  • Kai Stitt
    Kai Stitt

    Me: ISnets: Wanna watch a 30 minute video about a topic that’s never even crossed your mind? Me: DO I?!

  • Stabbity Joe
    Stabbity Joe

    I’m eaatimg pringles while watching this video

  • Heed My Warning
    Heed My Warning

    Online advertising is so ingrained in our culture. Soon, parents will be naming kids "like" and "subscribe".

  • 2020Tech4U

    Well guess I'm not taking my kids to "Walt Disney World" now...... "Kids, say thanks to Mr. Scott", " THANKS MR. SCOTT!" sorry the temptation got me, not the cologne! Or was it? haha ads!

  • Michael Wilson
    Michael Wilson


  • Nevan Howland
    Nevan Howland


  • PBDesign

    what if im selling my bath water?

  • Nunya Biznas
    Nunya Biznas

    Advertising for something good is fine. It’s fine dude.

  • Cyjax

    Wooh how did you make the subtitles blue at 7:34

  • Sky Leonidas
    Sky Leonidas

    dude who cares just dont buy anything

  • Arthur Kerr-Sheppard
    Arthur Kerr-Sheppard

    What about doctors and Big Pharma?

  • Norman Hosford
    Norman Hosford

    Does that include a plot that presents a distorted view of reality to promote a political view? Showing fictional events in ways that make the rare events seem common or the extreme groups seem pervasive? Who would make that decision? Also, is rural England as portrayed by Midsomer really the murder capital of the world?

  • Christopher Butler
    Christopher Butler

    Intentional or not, that ad playing at "is this an advert" is *chef kiss*.

  • Krishna Mahesh
    Krishna Mahesh

    Shouldn't we also require that, just as financial contributors have to declare any interest in any companies whose stocks they recommend (long or short), political contributors and "journalists" have to declare any financial or electoral interests in any candidate or party they support? Just for consistency.... Same idea.

  • Yotrymp

    Is it a paid placement when news lies to foment war?

  • ASMR For Dogs
    ASMR For Dogs

    Materially, a film or television studio has a lot more clout for negotiating with a state compared to individuals making online content.

  • StarFox

    It’s time to play, is this an advert? *real ad plays*

  • Dovki Paul
    Dovki Paul

    seems like fair play, the 'big guys' in entertainment need more regulating, a lot of people view them as being more "legit" so therefore their influence is a lot greater than a random ISnets or Instagram influencer. Movies should have some time at the start dedicated to showing all the sponsorship/product deals they got for that movie should

  • Ctrl W
    Ctrl W


  • RuDuffEnough WellRu
    RuDuffEnough WellRu

    You're right everyone should have to do it, or no one. I'm leaning on the side of everyone.

  • Shay From Scratch
    Shay From Scratch

    Tom Scott is a national treasure. Not my nation's national treasure, but a national treasure nonetheless. Appreciate him, Britain.

  • Trace Seger
    Trace Seger

    what beach was this recorded at? looks peaceful

  • Roy H
    Roy H

    The advert rules kind of blur the line on what a lie or deception really is. Or false pretenses. Lying, when made illegal, in the US comes with steep penalties. Many states don't have laws about lying to police, but the Feds can throw you in prison for several years for lying to them even though you're under no obligation at all to even talk to them. I'd be more comfortable with lies being punishable if they were misdemeanors. But then again some lies are the vehicles for theft, paperwork fraud, falsehoods to make a sale knowing the customer is basing their decision on the lie, otherwise known as separating a person from their money.

  • Piero Vergara
    Piero Vergara

    Hmmm. I get your point, but this would only be necessary if the world were mainly comprised of impulsive, superficial clueless dunces.... Which I would argue... may not be too far from the truth so i guess I forgot what I was trying to say now bye.

    • Piero Vergara
      Piero Vergara

      For real tho, I think the limitations make sense in the realm of political thought - though on the flipside, making law that regulates political advertising would allow a hegemonic political faction to maintain power indefinitely without contest simply by choosing who they decide to strictly implement their legislative shackles on. Sounds familiar.... Hmmmmm

  • joseph mullan
    joseph mullan

    I think r.e. The Disneyland thing, they perhaps got away with it by wording Disneyland less as a product but rather as a collaboration between two production companies. When Rick and Morty were in the opening sequence of the simpsons, you wouldn’t say that’s product placement. (I do think it’s very muddled and a bit morally bankrupt to shove adverts in faces that much)

  • siriusflood

    Whilst it doesn't count as an advert, calling a box mod a "vape pen" could be breaking rules on obscenity.

  • Felippe Silveira
    Felippe Silveira

    When Tom said: "Is this an advert?" at 12:31 , I got an ad on the video 😂

  • Gerry Phibbs
    Gerry Phibbs

    Tom - your presentation has got me thinking, which I suspect was your goal. Your points are well taken, and well supported. While I too would prefer a set of universal media constraints - not necessarily *just* for product placements and concealed ads, I wonder whether the time and effort involved would be considered well invested. The technologies of media are changed so quickly, that "rules" set up today, simply may not apply at a future time when said technologies have evolved to effectively conceal such advertising. At 70 now, I've lived through enough revolutions, both social and technological, to know that they will continue to happen, often when we least expect or understand what's actually happening. When I was in school, we were taught to use slide rules for physics and math classes. At the time, handheld calculators were just showing up in the market - bulky battery operated affairs that varied greatly, depending on the brand and the cost. However, we were not permitted to use them in those classes! It violated school policies, as well as the teachers' preferences. Today in similar educational systems, each student is expected to have a high end cell phone, capable of doing tasks undreamed back in those days! What sort of technical achievements might the next generation (or two) be expected to have, and what sort of new tasks will be part of their daily lives? Rather than just advertising on TV, or on a ISnets video, I'd expect to see non-stop feeds of advertising directed at whatever the next cell phones are, and that those same ads will be seamlessly incorporated into most (or all) of the functions of said devices. Because such ad-streams are not broadcast over traditional TV channels, will they be subject to the same sorts of considerations? Probably not - so will one of the all-too-soon-to-arrive-future careers be in generating or possibly regulating that sort of streaming advertising directed at everyone's individual personal media device? I hope that you continue to consider all the possibilities, as well as the potential ramifications of the various forms of advertising that are surely coming down the pike!

  • HLGpanda

    Well you can't spell advertisements without semen between tits.

  • Richard S
    Richard S

    In many countries there must be inserts like "this video contains product placement", but, well, it's at the end and not at the beginning and not during the video. And sometimes it reads something like this: "the moderator wears clothing from ...", which is a way of sponsoring and declaring the sponsoring in one message. Well, that's not optimal. And in big cinema movies there is product placement all over the place, for example the cars and laptops in Bond movies - and they mention it at the end, I'm sure, but who reads these tons of texts at the end of big movies, well I might do to see if I catch something interesting. It's really shocking how many people have been working for one movie.

  • R. Crosby Lyles
    R. Crosby Lyles

    Brilliant mate! Simply brilliant! Well I think I found out how to deal with Google Talk to text. If I use a slightly British accent it seems to understand me better.

  • desmond

    If it bothers you go find a real job