Above the Noise asked during this past summer's VidCon. The answers to that question and more are tackled in Can You Trust Influencers on YouTube?
This video could spark a great classroom discussion about how products end up in videos, how advertising works, and why it is important to watch and read with a critical eye.
My Policy About Paid Endorsements On This Blog
As someone who makes part of my living through online advertising I am occasionally asked to speak to students about issues related to "influencer" marketing. What I tell students is that an online "influencer" who cares about his/her reputation will make clear declarations when talking about or writing about a product they've been paid to endorse. And for myself, my rule about accepting paid placements is that I'll only accept them from companies whose products I would feel comfortable putting into my own classroom. I also always make a clear disclosure in the header or footer of a post.