The idea of paying for promotional consideration in online videos these days has become something of a cause celebre, particularly in recent days. No matter what side of the issue one lands on—and there's plenty of room for debate here—there are some critical points that bear considering before really establishing a stance on the idea of paying content creators for consideration in video of any sort.
Essentially, it could be described that some game companies—notably Microsoft
and Electronic Arts—were offering a kind of product placement arrangement with YouTube video creators, with the unexpected difference that the creators were asked not to note the relationship that had been established, something that led some to wonder if the companies, or the YouTube creators, could be cited under Federal Trade Commission
guidelines that discussed this kind of thing. But with the FTC's Betsy Lordan recently coming out to say that the guidelines were “not legally enforceable,” and following that up with “there are no monetary penalties or penalties of any kind associated with them”, that sort of took a lot of wind out of the sails of the concept that this might somehow be wrong.
However, while the guidelines have zero teeth, Lordan further explained that the guides were written to provide something of an early-warning mechanism related to actual law with actual penalties. The FTC would, essentially, act to notify a company that actually was violating guidelines that could lead to legal problems, which would give the company in question an opportunity to make changes that keep said company out of legal trouble.
That being said, I don't have a problem with paid promotional opportunities.