The new Dutch Media Act came into force on 1 November 2020. This has consequences for video platforms such as YouTube, and possibly also for vloggers.

In November there was mild panic among vloggers; the Dutch newspaper Financieel Dagblad (FD) reported that the Media Authority (Commissariaat voor de Media) would have confirmed that popular vloggers would soon no longer be allowed to advertise products in their videos in exchange for money. This was quickly adopted by other news media. But the message in the FD was incorrect. Apparently an error in the Media Authority's spokesmanship. In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Media Authority have always said that YouTube channels would become subject to the same sponsorship and product placement rules as (commercial) television channels, but this is currently being reviewed on the EU level. A report from Europe, which will provide more clarity, is expected.

The problem lies in the rules for product placement. According to these rules, the public "may not be directly encouraged to buy or rent products or purchase services by means of specific promotional communications". Anyway, it's not at all certain whether these rules will really apply to vlog channels (and if so, to which ones). And even if the rules are going to apply to vlog channels, it will still be possible for vloggers to advertise.

A storm in a glass of water?

Daniel Haije