Online “vlogging” stars should take care over the adverts that appear with their videos, Jamie Oliver’s company has urged, in the wake of controversy over unhealthy foods advertised to children alongside videos by YouTube celebrity Zoella.
Chef and healthy food campaigner Oliver has his own YouTube channel, Food Tube. His company has established an agreement with YouTube to ensure certain brands cannot advertise alongside the channel’s videos.
Healthy eating campaigners and teachers called on the Government to shore up regulations around online advertising last week, after the i paper revealed adverts for sugary products such as Coca-Cola and Haribo were being directed at teenage fans alongside videos by hugely popular vloggers Zoella and Alfie Deyes.
Advertising Standard Authority rules say adverts for “high in fat, salt or sugar products can’t appear around programmes that are commissioned or are likely to be of particular appeal to children up to 16 years of age”. However, the regulations do not currently apply to vloggers.
Responding to inquiries over adverts for McDonalds and Coca-Cola that appeared alongside an Oliver guest appearance on Alfie Deyes’ YouTube channel, a spokesperson for Oliver’s Food Tube said it had “a firm agreement” to keep such adverts off the chef’s own channel.
It is not known whether the vloggers are aware of the products advertised before their posts and there was no response from their management companies when contacted by the i paper.
The adverts are not chosen by the vloggers, and in most cases are generated automatically. However, some companies, such as Oliver’s, exercise controls over certain adverts.
Representatives for Zoella could not be reached yesterday and did not respond to a request for a comment on the previous article.