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

    • Mr Kiyoshi
      Mr Kiyoshi

      You’re so wrong about this. All over Europe we have regulations for TV programme to tell us when placed advertising is used in a TV show. Same goes for movies and so on. When you enter cinema you know you will be advertised to. So that’s your agreement with them. Of course this has only changed in past couple of decades but continues to be improved. It was in fact ISdowns that was the LAST to follow with strict regulations as the rest of the media had to do that. All you talk about is very old stuff made before there were regulations. You have done very poor research. Media tech and IP rights expert here.

    • 95rav

      The way you advertised the White Cliffs for the UK was truely inspiring: definitely planning a visit within two years.

    • This Guy Roll Needs
      This Guy Roll Needs

      Isnt japanese dramas and animes have something like this in TV? like some line that says "this show is sponsored by these brand"

    • Jonathan Corbett
      Jonathan Corbett

      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

    • For The Love Of Noise
      For The Love Of Noise

      Paid ad from the anti-vapers?

  • deadviny

    wow vaping is so cool

  • James

    I never thought I would see Tom Scott rip a vape in a video

  • rickysmyth

    That's not how you vape, Tom. You're meant to take smaller drags. Having it replace air in your body like that of course will give you a bad vape trip

  • Mjws2907

    Tom the dragon

  • tuna mayo
    tuna mayo

    I really want to go to Asbestos Land right now.

  • Paul Smith
    Paul Smith

    I thought the Sour Patch Kids product placement in Kyle X/Y was hilarious. It was my favorite part of the show.

    • Paul Smith
      Paul Smith

      as the children are leaving for school, the mother runs out the door "Kids! You forgot your Sour Patch Kids!"

  • IamScary

    I just ate a watermelon

  • Bente Huizer
    Bente Huizer

    A comment for the algorithm gods

  • Jackie Morey
    Jackie Morey

    There was an ad break IMEDIATELY after you asked "is this an ad break?" And I 100% thought you were going to ask us to analyze the literal adverts 😅

  • Bogdan OWS
    Bogdan OWS

    Actually on tv as well, where there is a paid something a small P in a circle appears.

  • Mr. C
    Mr. C

    Tom Scott's videos are delicious vegetables in a world full of junk food.

  • Prahar

    I didn't quite follow the whole video, but I did learn one thing and one thing alone - I need to buy a vape pen.

  • Evgenii Nalpin
    Evgenii Nalpin

    25:00 Wait, isn't Ring an actual company that advertises doorbells and home security cameras? Does THIS unconscious reference counts as advertising? This video is too meta now...

  • john_blaze39

    Very valid point. Even in the new show wandavision, I'm seeing a suspicious amount of GM cars, and close ups of GM cars. CLEARLY GM paid for that product placement. But of course it's not mentioned anywhere

  • E. Clark
    E. Clark

    Do you have to declare ISdowns videos as ads? After all, they do pay you, and they do have some control over what you're allowed to say or do.

  • bruceyboy 94
    bruceyboy 94

    I died laughing at the vape part 😂😂😂😂 I couldn't stop re watching it!. Legit dribbled in my boxers 😂😂😂😂

  • Ersteller

    Since your copyright video, I know that different rules apply to us and the rest of the world.

  • Smaller Badger11
    Smaller Badger11

    In a altenet world-this war was brought to you by raid showdow legends!

  • San Ansa
    San Ansa

    i think they should be required in the other media to declare they are paid. I also think there should be 100% transparency when it comes to relationships politicians have (including jobs they are lining up for when they leave office, stocks they own) and also scientists, I want to know who sponsors their research or offers them consultant positions. I know damn well even some scientists and medical doctors are compromised. Medical doctors get paid by pharmaceutical companies but not always in cash. I know someone who worked for a company and the doctors would demand very expensive medical equipment for their office, if they agreed to be part of clinical trials. If you are part of a clinnical trial you need to find volunteers to take the drug. So be careful of what prescription your doctor is writing (or 'free' samples they are giving out). Do your own research.


    I love your videos so much but they make me sad about the bad things that people do.

  • Grounson FFM
    Grounson FFM

    12:30 Tom: Is this an advert? midroll ads: start playing. well played Tom. Well played

  • DipWob

    marvel movies should be the only movies that are allowed to put the disclosure in the credits

  • Sid Ferreira
    Sid Ferreira

    I agree with the video... Just wondering about kid content inspired on toys (Transformers, Cory Carson, Pokemon...)


      That's actually a really good point. Also where do you draw the line between content inspired by toys and toys inspired by content?

  • Benni Grote
    Benni Grote

    The dramatic rail intialy box because copper tinctorially label given a married hawk. white, kind beginner

  • An Omnomnomnivore
    An Omnomnomnivore


  • Robert F. Jobin Jr.
    Robert F. Jobin Jr.

    It's because they're rich and have power. Rules for thee, not for me.

  • Mike Hopman
    Mike Hopman

    They do have to say it in scientific fields

  • Rad cafe
    Rad cafe

    I'm going to Asbestos Land!!!!!

  • martinusK

    I got a ISdowns ad the moment that you said "Is this an advert?!". Feel like I'm being watched.

  • Aether Blackbolt
    Aether Blackbolt

    I guess the Free Speech argument for USA is because they do not want Compelled Speech; being forced to say a product placement is an ad/endorsement/sponsor would mean a control of the speech they can use to speak positively on something.

  • Vulkan

    They don't have to do that because they are part of a long established communist brain washing dynasty, the new lot are telling the truth and it needs to go according to all the "humans" we put in charge.

  • gamebuster800

    11:49 this made me laugh way too hard

  • That Onion
    That Onion

    asbestos land sound fun.

  • Uku Toots
    Uku Toots


  • Mark Peter
    Mark Peter

    Well this is not entirely true, in the netherlands tv shows themself need to state if they are sponsored e.g. that product placement will happen in the program.

  • Losdylan Loasda
    Losdylan Loasda

    Ur awesome.

  • Daniel Harrison
    Daniel Harrison

    Why did you not have to declare you are advertising all those products so clearly displayed in your video? Were you paid to pick those examples? Did you get anything for showing those items so clearly and discussing them? Your video here looks to me to be just a long advert.


      Thumbnail says he's not sponsored. It's just really difficult to give examples of product placement without showing products.

  • Dale Moffatt
    Dale Moffatt

    “Is this an adver...” Cue ad while I’m watching. Nice.

  • Abduljalil Kazimov
    Abduljalil Kazimov

    yaay another great vid

  • The Xextreem
    The Xextreem

    *this is not legal advice. Thanks thats answer the complete video. Save me 31:21 seconds for watching.

  • Mana User
    Mana User

    And how about journalism? When the Washington Post publishes a scare story about Covid, shouldn't they declare that they're owned by the CEO of Amazon which benefits from people being too afraid to leave their houses? (Just to pick an obvious example)

  • Random Channel
    Random Channel

    Does anyone else see those instagram or snapchat videos where theses people to "Pranks" and in almost every shot it will have the energy drink 'Bang' in it or a video will be playing and randomly in the middle of it, it will cut to a shot of the 'Bang' drink in it??? You can tell they have been paid to do it but they don't say anything. They don't even mention the drink, they will just hold it up to show you.

  • Ezra B
    Ezra B

    What's with the claim about spearmint being a trademark? It's an ordinary garden herb. A botanical species.

  • Mora Mulford
    Mora Mulford

    The savory damage nationally want because vibraphone systemically wail than a dull professor. melodic, addicted pheasant

  • Andrey German
    Andrey German

    Nice video as always. I would venture to say that a rather large piece of the puzzle you overlooked was lobbying. Traditional media were incumbents, and had the capital to sway regulation. And with zero research, my gut says they did/continue to do

  • Vagabundork Chaos Magick-User
    Vagabundork Chaos Magick-User

    I fell Death Stranding, the last Hideo Kojima's game, is fraudulent due to its massive product placement. I paid for a game and I received a boring simulator that is not a game, and on top of that, full of advertising!

  • Don't Care
    Don't Care

    Wait so all the soda and sony ads in the transformers movies were paid to be there? And here I thought Micheal Bay just really liked them.

    • hen ko
      hen ko

      "Is this an advert?" gets ad right afterwards

  • Drab Majesty97
    Drab Majesty97

    USA number 1 yet again

    • hen ko
      hen ko

      Perfect argumentation and perfect conclusion... :) well done.

  • Thomaszuk2

    11:46 Thank me later.

  • worldssmallestfan

    Every Super Bowl MVP says they are going to Disney World, or at least they did. Even if they aren’t paid isn’t that advertising?

  • Josefa Tobar
    Josefa Tobar

    America is very scary HSJSJSJJS

  • Crimson Bot
    Crimson Bot

    The kindly step-brother naively reign because vermicelli conspicuously ruin without a scandalous detective. pink, maniacal felony

  • Jack Gunderson
    Jack Gunderson

    What if an SNL skit was posted on ISdowns?

  • Arkanium V
    Arkanium V

    Nice Raycon callout. They are honestly so terrible

  • Jared Olsen
    Jared Olsen

    "I just want the folks who publish offline to play by the same rules." Looking at journalists and politicians here in the US...I'm just in complete agreement.

  • ILsupereroe67

    When does a ISdowns video have to adhere to UK laws? When the author lives in the UK? When the video is shot or produced in the UK? Or when at least one person watches it in the UK? And of course the same question goes for other countries' laws.

  • O sans O
    O sans O

    bruh be looking like over cooked dantdm

  • GreySquared

    watching tom "vape" is hilarious

  • Chibudom Ohanwe
    Chibudom Ohanwe

    Man's looking old though. Damn son.

  • Chris Brown
    Chris Brown

    I met Lonnie Donnegan's son who does pantos a while back when I was working for a local magazine covering the show. Nice bloke.

  • Peter Rabbit
    Peter Rabbit

    News is something someone wants suppressed. Everything else is advertising.

  • Peter Rabbit
    Peter Rabbit

    I think it's understood, television IS an advertisement.

  • Tom Burn
    Tom Burn

    Perfect argumentation and perfect conclusion... :) well done.

  • SnowyStxrm

    "Is this an advert?" *gets ad right afterwards*

  • worldssmallestfan

    6:30 that makeup guru has a very subtle, yet effective, system.

  • polard keren
    polard keren

    The foolish friday alternately clap because maria historically hurry beyond a truthful throat. hapless, flowery day

  • Kayla Ogden
    Kayla Ogden

    11:43 Tom taking a big ass hit out of nowhere is one of the best things I've ever seen on this channel 😂

  • Nathan Pyle
    Nathan Pyle

    Tom: and now it's time to play 'is this an advert' ISdowns: ...and I took that personally

  • Arnold Loudly
    Arnold Loudly

    Tell you wha , if you want permission to promote something Tom, do more video's about the US Dollar, like that one you were nice and quiet in that one........

  • Nathan tubera
    Nathan tubera

    The true cork inexplicably rely because windshield philly use opposite a grotesque orchestra. painstaking, exultant bone

  • Arnold Loudly
    Arnold Loudly

    You are, as they qaintly put it, a 'creator' - and as such, you need guidlines, rules and a coolaid drinking contact at YTHQ......just in case you get any ideas about truth. Or integrity. Sell by all means, but WE want our cut...DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO, we are not evil.....Have a GREAT day!

  • Destroyer 186
    Destroyer 186

    "Is this an advert" *midroll ad plays uhhh, yes?

  • why man
    why man

    I just spent 31 minutes waiting for Tom to say “ and that’s why I have to tell you, this videos sponsored by RAID SHADOW LEGENDS”

  • Jon Whick
    Jon Whick

    Difference is one group paid governmental officials dor decades then other very few could afford more then a few hundrer bucks a year so they dont care

  • TheMrarrie18

    Never knew I would watch this for his little parodies, but now I do.

  • Karl Easterly
    Karl Easterly

    As a consumer who wants to create an environment as free from advertisements as possible I work hard to remove any adverts from my environment. I pay google a monthly fee to use youtube advert free. I "paid' to have the adverts removed, yet, many put adds into videos and remove my ability to filter those videos out as well, that sort/filter option is not present now is it. This removes my ability to control the content that I as an individual choose for myself. I have a right to choose the content I want to be apart of. The advertising mentality is predatory and lacking morality as evidenced by the way the industry disrespects the sovereignty of the individual to choose the content they are willing to be subject to and actively works to invade any open crack of sound space to my ears or eyes to slam 'buy my this or that' message at every turn. Where is your message respecting the watcher? Love your channel btw.. and you. Please don't take this as hostile, just passionate.

  • kapytanhook

    Personally I like freedom of speech and don't think politicians should micromanage us to this level because they are ineffective. The collective deciding what the individual should do for the common good sets a bad precedent. But for some reason this love for freedom is not shared by left nor right.

  • PositivePenny

    Don't see how sexualized images of children are speech but let's agree to disagree.

  • Quinten Cambridge
    Quinten Cambridge

    All that annoys me is the double standards. It's always going to be impossible to separate influences, you can always go that one extra layer deeper but at the very least, we should hold everyone to the same standards

  • Sagar Alias Jackie
    Sagar Alias Jackie

    *Fast and Furious movies left the chat.

  • ValiantAtlas

    I was expecting Raid Shadow Legends or State of Survival.

  • Chris Franz
    Chris Franz

    Just took a melatonin. Delighted to be here

  • teh polarwolf
    teh polarwolf

    He's British

  • Rishi aryan lanka
    Rishi aryan lanka


  • AaronHasRayGun

    Me at 4:06 AM: oh wow 31 one min I should wait till tomorrow Also me at 4:37 AM: I don’t need sleep I need more Tom videos

  • Goldenapple 710
    Goldenapple 710

    You gave me an ad about seduction...oh boy I do like those very very accurate personalized ads.

  • FOXtube LP
    FOXtube LP

    "The FCC wont let me be" -Eminem

  • Sheerspeechcraft

    I just want to live in a world without any advertisements at all. I just want to be left alone when I'm watching things

  • Beefy Mcskillet
    Beefy Mcskillet

    It happens in nascar 👀

  • Arkadia Kowalczyk
    Arkadia Kowalczyk

    In Poland they have to do that in tv and I think radio too, so I quess because ISdowns is world wide and has to comply to local laws around the world

  • steve1978ger

    ... like that Drake song designed around pushing a particular brand of hard liquor to teenagers?

  • Jake c
    Jake c

    Corporations in America are considered a person. Mazda America or kimber American have all the human rights provided by the constitution.

  • Panzer Ausf Productions
    Panzer Ausf Productions


  • Regal_7

    Well it's time to play, "Is This an Adver..." [ISdowns ad kicks in]

  • Mora Mulford
    Mora Mulford

    The grotesque road industrially crawl because size embryologically discover above a elfin gosling. peaceful, humdrum market

  • MaverickBlue

    You'd think music videos would have to comply with declaration if they upload their videos to ISdowns....

  • Connor Crowley
    Connor Crowley

    Tom Scott claiming that corporations shouldn't have all the rights of people? Unacceptable. Only corps and relegions should have rights as people defined in the constitution

  • Tristan DeMoss
    Tristan DeMoss

    you should have the right.... stop.. you should have the "brain" to realize you're being advertised to :P. Good video dude. I feel your points. Hell I even subscribed. You're hella honest that's all I care. Even if I can't agree with your thoughts on free speech. You or anyone telling me you received money to say something is not going to change my opinion of what is said. Educate people to be analytical and to think for themselves. I feel it's dangerous to imply that people need help distinguishing their own opinions. You buy a bad product. you learn.

  • Penny Lane
    Penny Lane

    It's interesting to see how even otherwise very thoughtful Americans resort to the slipperiest of slippery slope arguments to defend their extreme form of free speech, even against clear evidence from many other democracies that this radical form isn't needed to protect civil liberties.

8 m.