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Videos are among the most powerful tools your marketing team has at your disposal in the contemporary landscape. You can solidify a brand identity with engaging and entertaining content. It can also be a valuable form of customer service through tutorials and demonstrations. Not to mention that, when hosted on social media, marketing videos can capitalize on the sharing behavior built into the system.

Video marketing is certainly not without its challenges. Many teams might be more focused on the hurdles surrounding creating effective content or making sure it extends your reach. Yet, there are legal responsibilities that also need to be given equal consideration during the planning and execution of your campaign. If you overlook these elements, there is a risk of your company facing fines, damaging your reputation, and negatively impacting your demographic.

We’re going to examine 5 of the primary legal pitfalls you need to avoid when producing marketing videos. Why are these problematic and what can you do to adjust your practices accordingly?

1. Dishonest Representation

There are strict advertising rules in place to help make certain that, no matter the size of your business, consumers are protected from being misled. Governing bodies monitor and enforce these where necessary, and one of the most important is making certain adverts show a truthful representation of the service being offered. This applies to any kind of video marketing, too. Yes, there is a business imperative to show what you offer is superior to your competitors’ offerings or can solve your consumers’ problems. However, your video marketing must be clear about what your service can and cannot do.

When scripting your videos, you should make sure there isn’t any content suggesting abilities your product cannot practically live up to. You should avoid using visual effects or filters giving an unrealistic impression of the appearance of any products. Where possible, make sure all claims are backed up by supporting documentation and make this available to view on your website. This helps cover you legally while also boosting the appearance of authenticity among your consumers.

2. Unethical Content

There are some ways in which the approach to your video marketing can lead you to tread a fine legal and moral line. When you have goals to reach, it can be tempting to cross the line to get immediate results, but this can leave your company poorer in the long term. One of the most prevalent behaviors in this regard is bad faith targeting, which can involve ethnic and racial profiling amounting to forms of discrimination. Targeting vulnerable populations should also be avoided at all costs — such as pitching high-interest financial products at those who may be experiencing money problems or inappropriate lifestyle items to younger demographics.

Rather, think about the positive impact you want to have in the long term concerning your relationships with your consumers. Customer experience is one of the main factors in cultivating retention. Following actions that suggest a high standard of company values is an important part of this. By prioritizing your ethics, you have a good guide to stay on the right side of advertising legislation, too.

3. Plagiarism and Theft

The internet is a valuable resource to video marketers and not just because it gives you access to a wide audience. There are also a lot of creative people out there producing and sharing work that can improve and inspire your video content. However, this doesn’t mean you have the right to freely take artwork, music, or information and utilize them to improve the quality and success of your videos. Plagiarism and unlicensed use of copyrighted or trademarked images can see you facing lawsuits and disrupt the reputation of your business.

While you will certainly need to be conscious of your budget when creating videos, you may need to spend money to legally utilize the work of talented creators. This can involve reaching out to individuals via their websites or social networks if you want to license their work. Alternatively, you might find it easier or more cost-effective to use licensing banks providing images, music, even stock footage to marketers. Have some integrity here and remember that creative people deserve to be paid for their work. This is not just a legal imperative but you can also forge valuable relationships with creatives.

4. Lack of Sponsorship Information

Influencers are among the most useful resources at your disposal in video marketing. They provide you with access to a primed audience and they may have a certain amount of kudos for your target demographic. They’re also great at making creative video content designed to extend your reach. However, it is a legal and ethical responsibility not to try to capitalize on an influencer’s status while disguising your involvement. Across the world, governing bodies controlling advertising have strict standards regarding clarity on sponsored videos that might otherwise be mistaken for editorial content or a personal recommendation by an influencer.

This isn’t a difficult rule to follow. Make it clear to anyone you’re working with how to ensure there are clear mentions — both in the video and in the descriptions —  of your payment in exchange for services. If you’re concerned a paid review of your product may lose credibility for being overly advertorial, consider sponsoring a different type of video content. It is not unusual for businesses to connect to audiences by providing funding to empower influencers in making purely entertaining content unrelated to specific products. Viewers also tend to be more receptive to paid content that is more creative, in any case.


Video marketing can be an engaging addition to your campaigns. However, they also present some elements of risk when approached carelessly. Take the time to present your services honestly and avoid unethical targeting practices. Make sure all copyrighted content is correctly licensed for your use and be clear about any paid relationships you’re capitalizing on. With a commitment to keeping on the right side of the legal and ethical line, you can help make certain your message reaches your audience positively.