There is currently a trend amongst Youtube Vloggers (US) that transperancy is not a rule of social media and doing cash for comment is acceptable.
TV show Lie to Me have paid a number of vloggers to talk about their latest show with no disclosure from the vlogger about being paid.
The content is good, it is engaging, it is not a stretch from what these vloggers normally produce. So that makes it okay, right?
From a Vlogging source I was told that the reason they do 'cash for comment' is because they do not want to risk losing a large percentage of their audience (by doing full disclosure, they will be deemed as a sell out), whereas with cash for comment, a large percentage of their audience will not notice.
What is your opinion on self disclosure within Youtube? Do Vloggers need to be upfront about advertorial?
Gavin made a really good point on this subject on my post about Hill88 doing cash for comment
'When individuals begin to see themselves as mini-media businesses, the lines blur. Unfortunately, very few people have the capacity to deal with where that can take you - remember, the media businesses such as Fox have legions of people who have turned people into celebrities and celebrities into household names. There are disciples and practices around doing this. The difference is that it is done in a way that always reflects back on the "parent brand" (in the same way that Channel 9's stable of celebrities reflect back on Channel 9).
Individuals, on the other hand, are personal brands. There are fewer disciplines (and sometimes even awareness levels) in place. And as personal brands are built around trust and authenticity, any undisclosed dalliance with larger brands can be very damaging.
Unfortunately, once an outcome is achieved and the hard-earned brand equity has been extinguished (for cash/product/promise), those individuals (and their personal brands) can be easily discarded ... '
If the States is anything to go by, we may need to realign our thoughts about our vision and values of Social Media Advertising in Australia.
Update: Australian Hughsnews is getting paid cash for comment by Fox in the competition.