Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, more commonly known as MKBHD, recently uploaded a video reviewing the latest phone by OnePlus.
Marques then discovered that an ad tag had appeared on the video.
He had not made any agreement for this review video to become an advert for a company.
The addition of the ad tag makes it appear to be a sponsored video when it isn’t.
The company in question is suspected to be OnePlus itself. Following the video being turned into an advert, the video has become his most viewed on his channel at almost 20 million views.
So it looks like somebody (I’m guessing OnePlus) has paid for my OnePlus 6 review (and others) to run as an ad, inflating the view count massively.— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) July 9, 2018
So now it sits as my most viewed video ever…
Pretty smart on their part I guess, just wish they told me ahead of time, sheesh pic.twitter.com/XXlEi6Zkxt
Brownlee, who has 6.4 million subscribers, followed this up by tweeting to Team YouTube suggesting that they should add a secondary tag that informs the viewer that someone other than the uploader pays for it to run as an advert as a number of people have mistaken the video to be sponsored.
In a response, YouTube said, “we also want to confirm advertisers must get permission to use any assets they do not own.” They continued to say to Marques that, “we'll follow up with you directly to discuss further.”
Hi Marques - Thanks for this suggestion, we will pass along to our team! We also want to confirm advertisers must get permission to use any assets they do not own, we'll follow up with you directly to discuss further.— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) July 10, 2018