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Third time's a charm: Blogging about vlogging
9 December 2021

Vloggers, advertisers and influencer marketing agencies please take note!

Today’s marketing and advertising landscape is increasingly filled with TikTokkers, YouTubers and other vloggers. They are often used by companies to advertise to a targeted audience, for example young people. Their outreach can be enormous, for example Nikki Tutorials with her 13.8 million followers on YouTube or Mark Lucas and his 7.8 million followers on TikTok. The trained eye will have noticed that more and more videos of vloggers and influencers contain texts such as ‘#ad’, ‘#sponsor’ or the statement that the video is posted in light of a paid partnership. This is not without reason

Currently, YouTubers, TikTokkers and other vloggers who advertise in their videos fall under the scope of the Dutch Advertising Code and thus under the supervision of the Dutch Advertising Code Commission. In 2022 another regulator will officially enter the playing field as the Dutch Media Authority will publish its new policy ‘Beleidsregel classificatie commerciële mediadienst op aanvraag 2021’. With its new policy, the Media Authority provides an answer to the outstanding question of whether channels on video platform services, i.e. the channels of vloggers and other video influencers, fall under the scope of the Dutch Media Act (and therefore under the supervision of the Media Authority). With the publication of the new policy this will officially be the case.

According to the policy, some vloggers and video influencers qualify as a commercial on-demand media service and must comply with all rules in the Dutch Media Act that apply to such services. If a vlogger or video influencer chooses not to do so, the Media Authority will have the option to impose an administrative fine and/or penalty. The Advertising Code Commission, which is currently the sole supervisor, has no sanctioning power. This means that the application of the new policy will bring about a big change for certain players in the industry.

You might wonder, when does a vlogger or video influencer qualify as an on-demand commercial media service? In a nutshell, these are services that offer audio-visual content such as videos where people can choose when and what they watch. The videos must be intended for the general public and must generate a certain income. In addition, the person posting the videos should be in charge of choosing the videos. Lastly, there must be a catalogue that organizes the videos. The threshold is not high. A vlogger, video influencer or TikTokker who makes money will easily fall under this definition.

So what rules do they have to comply with? First of all, the vloggers have to register with the Dutch Media Authority and the Stichting Reclame Code and pay the accompanying costs. They must also join the Dutch Institute for the Classification of Audio-visual Media and comply with the rules of Kijkwijzer, such as displaying appropriate ages and pictograms. In addition, it must always be clear to viewers whether a video contains advertising, product placement or a sponsorship (hence the #sponsor texts). No excessive attention may be given to products and product placement is even prohibited in certain cases. Finally, appropriate measures must be taken against, for example, incitement to violence or hatred.

After publication of the new policy, the Media Authority will start supervising vloggers and other video influencers. However, the Media Authority has said to educate the group about the new rules and how to comply with them before it begins enforcement.The new policy rule will have a huge impact on the ins and outs of the video influencing and vlogging industry. Not only the vloggers themselves have to change the way they work, the people who work with them, such as marketing agencies and advertisers, will have to deal with the new rules as well. It is very important that the industry prepares for this, for example by reviewing the contracts between advertisers and vloggers. Want to know more about this topic? Please feel free to contact one of the contact persons of the Van Doorne IE/Media team.