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: thekinks/status/1265203792754212864 and
BBC trademark policy:
Pitbull and Kodak: pitbull/status/16567622829080576
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:
FIstart 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




  • "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, FIstart titles have to be short and catchy!

    Tom ScottTom Scott20 päivää sitten
    • What about the "P" symbol that precedes paid "Product Placement" promotion in soaps and TV shows in the UK? That has to be shown upfront, pre show

      Jonathan CorbettJonathan Corbett7 tuntia sitten
    • Paid ad from the anti-vapers?

      For The Love Of NoiseFor The Love Of Noise13 tuntia sitten
    • You made the mistake of trying to talk while vaping.

      ??22 tuntia sitten
    • 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.

      skylx08skylx083 päivää sitten
    • We gotchu fam

      linkbirdslinkbirds3 päivää sitten
  • We get it you vape. Awesome video, cheers!

    Minigui98Minigui985 minuuttia sitten
  • Based

    DerianmonDerianmon44 minuuttia sitten
  • lived in the UK my whole live, had no idea that's what the P meant

    molly inglismolly inglis2 tuntia sitten
  • .

    Ezeckel ReichertEzeckel Reichert2 tuntia sitten
  • I want more satirical ads. They were so good.

    PersonMan000PersonMan0003 tuntia sitten
  • This intro with "Tom Scott Gaming" and vaping are brilliant!

    HubertHubert3 tuntia sitten
  • Please never "vaporize" again Tom

    Roland KatsuragiRoland Katsuragi3 tuntia sitten
  • 26:15 WTF is this world where "Convincing someone to commit suicide" and "Breaching copyright law" sit in the same category??

    etienne maheetienne mahe4 tuntia sitten
  • must not forget sigue sigue sputnik who straight up put commercial ad samples right in the song for money.

    Blacklily OrchardBlacklily Orchard4 tuntia sitten
  • Ugh... people worse than me are so unethical

    The Watcher XDThe Watcher XD5 tuntia sitten
    • And people the same are copycats

      The Watcher XDThe Watcher XD5 tuntia sitten
    • And people better then me are snobby

      The Watcher XDThe Watcher XD5 tuntia sitten
  • "Is this an advertisement?" *2 FIstart ads play*

    HelloJinxieHelloJinxie5 tuntia sitten
  • I wish politicians had to do that.

    The UnseenThe Unseen5 tuntia sitten
  • Fantastic video as always. Very informative and thought provoking.

    Daniel DiazDaniel Diaz5 tuntia sitten
  • My favorite is Ford on Netflix Ranch. It just works. is Ford paying or does it just work?

    danny117hddanny117hd6 tuntia sitten
  • What about the "P" symbol that precedes paid "Product Placement" promotion in soaps and TV shows in the UK? That has to be shown upfront, pre show

    Jonathan CorbettJonathan Corbett7 tuntia sitten
  • I really like your videos, but not all of your viewers are native English speakers. Perhaps you want consider speaking a little slower ? Just a little bit ;-)

    Torsten BehrendtTorsten Behrendt7 tuntia sitten
  • The government will not enforce television shows and films to state their sponsorships, I believe this because most governments use those media to promote their agendas, like Batman vs superman for an example... the military weapons are not cgi, and the soldiers you can see in frame are real soldiers... they supply props and military personal to films like these if they in turn make the government look good... like when superman said you are all superman to the soldiers in said film while congratulating them

    Travis // DragonzeTravis // Dragonze7 tuntia sitten
  • Never thought I'd hear Gucci Gang on this channel. Disappointed.

    Brandon MBrandon M7 tuntia sitten
  • 9:45 yes PM Blair, really good, got it.

    CHLinuschCHLinusch7 tuntia sitten
  • youtube ad cuts in at exact 12:30, hmm...

    killsarskillsars7 tuntia sitten
  • The forgetful harp sporadically rain because memory distinctly radiate alongside a hesitant replace. wry, noxious shears

    bansam loiembansam loiem9 tuntia sitten
  • seven

    Baloonboy 105Baloonboy 10511 tuntia sitten
  • why does this have so many dislikes?

    reallybusy sorryreallybusy sorry12 tuntia sitten
  • ur little lungs are too small to hotbox with god

    InfernowInfernow12 tuntia sitten
  • At this point, if I'm ever gonna upload a video, im gonna put a disclaimer on the tittle, and spoken at the start of the video saying that its an ad XD (u know, just incase)

    InfernowInfernow12 tuntia sitten
  • If there's a product placement for ear buds in a music video that's not "obviously an advert". I barely notice it

    python javapython java12 tuntia sitten
  • Great vid coming from a legal alien

    Martin MurrayMartin Murray13 tuntia sitten
  • 11:48

    Jenrex PolinagJenrex Polinag14 tuntia sitten
  • Challenge information

    Sheik SSheik S14 tuntia sitten
  • Tom you've outdone yourself. This video is a masterpiece of cinema!

    Nathan JowettNathan Jowett14 tuntia sitten
    • So Casino Royale should have been Advertisement Royale

      bofooit gojobofooit gojo13 tuntia sitten
  • I'm here because FIstart is placing ads every minute 30 seconds they've gone insane… This insane company called FIstart uses videos by the people for the people and now all they're doing is building hatred. In a world where hatred is on the rise why does FIstart have to be up in the forefront of this insane advertising campaign causing hatred. I call on everyone to report videos for mass advertising in the drop-down box

    Jeff RenmanJeff Renman15 tuntia sitten

      bofooit gojobofooit gojo13 tuntia sitten
  • Tom, how about going down the rabbit hole of influencers for major corporations (particularly car companies) who are not endorsed or sponsored by the car company, but those influencers hold stock who benefit from inflated stock prices as they "move the market." We see that a lot these days in certain tech bubbles.

    zilfondelzilfondel15 tuntia sitten
  • Oi mate 'ou got a loicense for 'at trademark use in your song? The UK is such a joke nanny state.

    william maldonadowilliam maldonado17 tuntia sitten
  • If an American did the same video it would be 4 minutes long and get the same point across. Stop talking so much brits.

    Ze BunkerZe Bunker18 tuntia sitten
  • This is exactly how the bicycle industries handles reviews same as the Car industry. Most of them will not give honest reviews and the reviews all sound the same.

    josiah9008josiah900819 tuntia sitten
  • Not a sponsorship but Disney’s Own Christmas parade they pre record and broadcast disrupts the area in fron of the castle for a few days.

    Lachlan MasonLachlan Mason21 tunti sitten
  • "Chewing gum" is the better lyrics. "Cherry cola" is not only better lyrics, it makes more sense. Cherry cola would be easier to replicate as a taste or flavor. Cherry is a recognizable flavoring, and used to try to disguise the regular flavors in a bunch of horrible products, i.e., when they are trying to slip something inferior or disgusting past you.

    Ramix NudlesRamix Nudles21 tunti sitten
    • I never even knew about the original lyrics of either.

      Lawrence CalablasterLawrence Calablaster21 tunti sitten
  • 11:46 you are welcome

    rblx08rblx0822 tuntia sitten
  • Tom Scott: "It's time to play is this an advert?" FIstart: "This is the perfect place for an ad break." Me: "Yes, this is blatantly an ad." I had to stop and mentally register the skip button in the corner of the ad. Well played, FIstart.

    SkandrakenSkandraken22 tuntia sitten
  • FIstartr: drinks a soda during the video The UK: OY YOU GOT A LOICENCE FOR THAT SODA

    Kavai AnimuKavai Animu22 tuntia sitten
  • Tom Scott hitting a vape and trying to casually continue his topic before coughing up a lung is exactly why I kept watching

    Chronic AbrahamChronic Abraham23 tuntia sitten
  • 🤘🏼 👏🏼 YES YES YES! Spot on!! Please make a 2.0 in a year!!!

    Christoffer KamronnChristoffer Kamronn23 tuntia sitten
  • Anyone else really want to do to Disney World?

    MukDesignsMukDesigns23 tuntia sitten
  • You could replace, 'This video is not sponsored' with, 'Your name here'. Or not.

    imdawolfmanimdawolfmanPäivä sitten

    Sgt. Reznov SniperSgt. Reznov SniperPäivä sitten
  • So Casino Royale should have been Advertisement Royale

    brianbp4fbrianbp4fPäivä sitten
  • 11:45 Don't thank me :>

    Hpv ꧁Xeno꧂Hpv ꧁Xeno꧂Päivä sitten
  • The unbranded chewing gum lost its flavor long before you stick it to the bed post.

    Adar ObenAdar ObenPäivä sitten
  • Hey, look into The "Coca Cola" Song, produced by the bollywood industry

    Vedant KumarVedant KumarPäivä sitten
  • Hilarious, informative, and appreciated. Thanks for your work!

    Victor SalmonVictor SalmonPäivä sitten
  • Probably because FIstart content is as low-effort as it gets while attracting a massive audience. FIstartrs have little to lose by deceiving people with bad products so they had to regulate it somehow.

    DeLaPrdDeLaPrdPäivä sitten
  • Simple solution: Opt out, don't show ads.

    Pascal JungerPascal JungerPäivä sitten
  • The energetic giant crucially suspect because hovercraft interestingly blind abaft a fixed trick. sore, few fierce women

    nate levinsonnate levinsonPäivä sitten
  • For crying out loud, Tom, now I want Samara to climb out of my doorbell.

    TheLongDarkTheLongDarkPäivä sitten
  • I love tom

    José VillarrealJosé VillarrealPäivä sitten
  • I think there should also be laws where celebrities or influencers could be held partially liable for harmful products that they promoted. It would make a lot of them pause before just blindly accepting money and saying "This product is great!".

    KKPäivä sitten
  • Having a screen of logos after ads and before movies would be cool. Imagine the prestige of a bond movie wearing rolex, aston martin and jaguar as medals. Imagine how great it'd be for ford to be a medal there on the same board.

    JasonJasonPäivä sitten
  • a little tangent to topic but also why should ad designers be exempt from having to declare authorship? change that and change advertising.

    rodrakrodrakPäivä sitten
  • 11:55 This is a failure. Now I want to inhale too much of a nictone-less flavour-less vape and cough like Tom Scott

    JasonJasonPäivä sitten
  • Yep. Wayne and Garth taught us nothing.

    rodrakrodrakPäivä sitten
  • You forgot an asterisk.... Land of the free* *Most of the time it's not actually free

    Justin HughesJustin HughesPäivä sitten
  • And yet influencers are allowed to advertise dodgy products and services without getting their videos flagged for fraud.

    soundsparksoundsparkPäivä sitten
  • Everyone loves censorship so long as the dictator agrees with them. Reference: Democrats and big tech in the U.S.

    Daniel M. HendricksDaniel M. HendricksPäivä sitten
  • This video is an advertisement for the town of Dover

    MashaMashaPäivä sitten
  • I don't think requiring a TV show or video to state the ads inside is against free speech, because you're not prevented from speaking, it's just truth in advertising

    MegaHI32MegaHI32Päivä sitten
  • Is that a kanger tech

    DarkSnPDarkSnPPäivä sitten
  • wtf why exactly at the moment you said " is this an advert" i got an ad

    Kapcer 2137Kapcer 2137Päivä sitten
  • "How many kids told their parents they wanted to go to Disneyworld after seeing that show?" ... Me

    LaurenLaurenPäivä sitten
    • Just surprised they advertised the American version in Florida, instead of Euro Disneyland just 200km south of Brittain.

      CarewolfCarewolfPäivä sitten
  • Also anyone having more youtube ads like since 1-2 monthes ago?

    ritren tritren tPäivä sitten
  • In Germany there is a law that forces TV shows to declar product placement. It is shocking how often this tag is seen for TV shows, soap operas etc.

    micha egimicha egiPäivä sitten
    • And still somehow it doesn't apply to children's programming like Transformers or Paw Patrol, that consist of 100% product placment.

      CarewolfCarewolfPäivä sitten
  • 16:25 so tom scott is tomscotter than tom scott?

    Sampler19Sampler19Päivä sitten
  • Honestly, if the Farrow & Ball sketch got anyone to buy that paint, I'd be shocked. I've never heard of them, and it seems like they used a British paint company to make it simultaneously legitimate but also a paint company that *most* people wouldn't have heard of.

    Mutantcy1992Mutantcy1992Päivä sitten
  • Political ads are banned in the UK? That sounds amazing!

    Purple BatDragonPurple BatDragonPäivä sitten
  • The helpless ikebana putatively wander because keyboard laterally develop concerning a used elephant. skinny, tidy supply

    really reassoreally reassoPäivä sitten
  • Dear @Tom Scott Did you know that Vitamin-D endorsements and mention of medical research are banned from marketing material in Finland in connection with our current epidemic as well as some other locales. Sort of like saying I drink water to stay hydrated is illegal. It is a shame really because it might put an end to the worst effects of seasonal infections and many other immune and autoimmune related diseases that there is proven research for causality and even more of correlation. If you want to stick it to the stuck in the mud regulators and do the world population a solid by shortening the period of restrictions we live under I recommend you look into it. vdmeta and vitaminDwiki are good places to start.

    Kalle PihlajasaariKalle PihlajasaariPäivä sitten
  • "Is this and advert?" Ad plays. I like your humor.

    bofooit gojobofooit gojoPäivä sitten
  • If you are "influenced" by something you see or hear on any media you are beyond help.

    Sid DeHoundSid DeHoundPäivä sitten
    • Not necessarily true. Take kids for example. They're susceptible to most things that are being told to them that they'll just take it as face value. But granted while they grow up, because they go through a repetitive cycle, they come to realize how the world works. Imo the biggest issue with it is how the educational environment is terrible outright in most places and they're stubbornness to not update their teaching methods to include stuff like that.

      sasuke uchihasasuke uchihaPäivä sitten
  • It's asinine that money is considered "free speech", anyway. Since when is money free?

    Vaylon KenadellVaylon KenadellPäivä sitten
    • People don’t realize that Tv is absolutely stuffed full of advertisements even in the Scripts of the programs and product placement.

      bofooit gojobofooit gojoPäivä sitten
  • Expecting ethics from capitalism is like teaching a Tyrannosaurus rex how to play piano. They just weren't built for that purpose.

    Vaylon KenadellVaylon KenadellPäivä sitten
  • Ah, yes. Wouldn't it be nice if Cooperations ran by people treated people like people instead of sheep.

    CataclysmCataclysmPäivä sitten
  • Thanks for such an informative video! You did an incredible job laying out the information here, and all of the parties involved. But... you're right. As a person with a strong opinion, I definitely disagree with one statement. "You should have the right to know when you are being advertised to." As crazy as it sounds, here in the US, I don't think that that would be right. However, I am on board with keeping regulations consistent across different mediums and platforms. The point about the parasocial relationship to social-media influencers is a really interesting one though. Again, thanks for the work you're doing!

    n8n8Päivä sitten
  • AMEN

    Daniel DietzDaniel DietzPäivä sitten
  • just HOW can you look 40 and 4 at the same time?

    Vitor LobãoVitor LobãoPäivä sitten
  • 28:00 nobody, and I mean nobody, actually considers corporations people. Corporations are MADE UP of people, they are a group acting in a coordinated fashion, the same as trade unions or guilds or the class of a class-action suit. So you can't restrict so-called "corporate free speech" without restricting the free speech of the individuals that actually made it. Pepsi don't make Pepsi ads, because Pepsi is not a living entity; Pepsi's copywriters do and Pepsi's management endorses it. And all of those are, you guessed it, people. The "corporations aren't people" rhetoric is borderline Marxist rhetoric that a certain class of people aren't human.

    Aleksei CorleoneAleksei CorleonePäivä sitten
  • Asbestos Land looks like a great theme park!

    kylejiahsmithkylejiahsmithPäivä sitten
  • It's common knowledge here in the US that corporations have more rights to do things individuals cannot. To include but not limited to legalized bribery, better known as lobbying. It's only time until corporations are give legal right to vote in political elections here in the land of the free.

    Jack WilliamsJack WilliamsPäivä sitten
  • Bravo! Over half an hour, and I am not tired of your voice, nor the subject; well done! Many thanks to the off-camera Tom Scott for keeping this channel going.

    fresusjeakfresusjeakPäivä sitten
  • FIstart just wants to cover their behinds in any and all ways possible, limiting as much liability on themselves as they can and putting it all on you. Also yea, there's double standards of how these things are interpreted and enforced all over the place, not just on FIstart, but in general. Part me of thinks part of why TV gets away with a lot more than online influencers is the gigantic lobbyist system the big, old dinosauric TV companies and their affiliates have helped the system be way more strict against what they view as their competition and much more lenient with themselves. Lawmakers and regulators for a given industry are often essentially bought and paid for by the biggest/richest/most established entities in said industry, instead of actually regulating against them.

    DeathbrewerDeathbrewerPäivä sitten
  • I totally need that doorbell tho.

    OniyakiOniyakiPäivä sitten
  • 11:46 is the best part of this whole video

    mace windewmace windewPäivä sitten
  • Because FIstart people don't have lobbyists working for them to get them tax breaks, free land, and so on. All those perks people give Hollywood et al costs governments/taxpayers $325,000 per person, so not worth it at all.

    DSCDSCPäivä sitten
  • Thank you for helping us be aware

    michel saulniermichel saulnierPäivä sitten
  • People don’t realize that Tv is absolutely stuffed full of advertisements even in the Scripts of the programs and product placement.

    Denver MorganDenver MorganPäivä sitten
  • "We'll be right back after these messages," "mY mESsage!"

    Benjamin S.Benjamin S.Päivä sitten
  • "Taken as religious text" nowadays idk if that's a joke or hes being serious constitution is swiss cheese and more of recommendation letter in todays day and age

    Roger GarciaRoger Garcia2 päivää sitten
    • Sounds like a religious text to me.

      Kirothe AvengerKirothe Avenger3 tuntia sitten
  • Haha never try to talk with a lungful of vape. Never ends well 😂

    Jon IngallJon Ingall2 päivää sitten
  • All I have to say is we will be back right after these messages from our sponsors and viewers like you! In other words they do declare ads, just like if you were to cut away and say "this video is brought to you by Bang Her Mash Brothel"

    Joe I GuessJoe I Guess2 päivää sitten
  • Aren't the things you're comparing against those types of things that are presumed to be fantasy? Whereas 'influencers' are presumed to be realistic? I would argue that's why the differentiation exists.

    Kris MarksKris Marks2 päivää sitten
  • Oh wow, this really takes me back to my youth when I would rock out to Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor On the Bedpost Overnight?

    John FoerchJohn Foerch2 päivää sitten