An Investigation into Viewers’ Trust in and Response Towards Disclosed Paid-for-Endorsements by YouTube Lifestyle Vloggers

Callum Chapple, Fiona Cownie

Abstract


This study investigates viewers’ trust in and response towards disclosed

paid-for endorsements by YouTube lifestyle vloggers. With the law now

enforcing disclosure of sponsorship within vlogger endorsements, this

research is topical. This study explored the credibility of lifestyle vloggers,

viewers’ attitudes towards paid-for endorsements and disclosure, and

viewers’ responses towards endorsements. The research employed a

qualitative method and found that lifestyle vloggers are considered by

their viewers as highly credible and influential individuals. Disclosure was

seen to increase vlogger credibility, improving the acceptance of the

endorsement message. This was however only seen where the viewer had

a positive pre-existing relationship with the vlogger. Where the viewer did

not have a positive pre-existing relationship with the vlogger, a perception

of opportunistic behaviour commonly arose in association with the paidfor

endorsement. Thus, the research found the disclosed sponsorship can

still be effective where the recipient is an avid viewer.


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