In the last week, there has been a fair bit of fuss surrounding disclosure yet again. Merely weeks ago there was the TmarTn incident with CSGO Lotto, this time around there was rising controversy over the non-disclosure of many YouTubers who reviewed Warner Bros. Shadow of Mordor.
News broke that video game publisher Warner Bros. had settled charges made by the FTC on the grounds that the company had failed to adequately disclose they had paid YouTubers and other online personalities to show off the game.
The issue at large
Warner Bros. had allegedly doled out hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars to YouTubers in order to not just show off the game, but also telling them what to say in order to positively promote the game. The problem on top of that is that it was contended by the FTC that Warner Bros. did not tell their sponsors to clearly state within the video that they were being sponsored to do the video.
Due to this, countless sponsors went ahead and have been held under scrutiny. The press release from the FTC doesn’t mention any names of sponsors except for the extremely popular PewDiePie.
PewDiePie strikes back
Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg was part of this promotion back in 2014 and was highlighted as the most notable sponsor on the FTC press release. When news of the Warner Bros. vs FTC settlement broke, news took the headlines condemning PewDiePie for not disclosing the paid promotion. In response, Kjellberg released the above video.
In it, he shows the fact that the video was most definitely disclosed, albeit not 100% correctly with the future 2015 guidelines made by the FTC that forces YouTubers to completely disclose any promotion material in a more obvious way.
Furthermore, he takes to the microphone to voice his disdain for being the scapegoat that enables clickbait to exist, citing various sites. He goes on to voice his belief that “If I did something wrong, I should be paying the consequences. In this case, I did nothing wrong.”
Conclusion and result of settlement
The whole Warner Bros. vs FTC settlement resulted in nothing too harsh. The FTC is now forcing Warner Bros. to be more stringent with disclosing paid deals with sponsors. Not only that, but to educate future sponsors on how to more accurately and fairly disclose their part to promote whatever product they put out.
News coverage on this subject has shot up with a fair amount of criticism over the lack of information or the necessity to jump the gun. It is for this reason we have decided to wait for a bit and let all the news come out for controversial subjects. This will be updated more if more news comes out surrounding this subject.