Beware the auditor

Jo Francis ventures down a time-sucking YouTube wormhole for the greater good.

What do the Bank of England printworks, the Antalis UK head office, Walstead Bicester, News UK Peterborough and ProAmpac in Brigg have in common?

Answer: they’ve all been visited by an auditor. Not the double-entry accounting type, rather a new type of auditor that anyone located on a typical industrial estate would be wise to make themselves aware of.

The above companies have all had a visit from YouTuber DJ Audits. He rocks up with his camera and his swishy little drone (important point here), and starts filming from the public highway.

He's clever. He knows all the rules about what is and isn’t legal in terms of filming. He checks the Drone Assist map to make sure he’s permitted to fly his drone in any particular area. And because his drone is very lightweight, no matter how loudly or angrily people say “you can’t fly that drone over our site” (see also, his visit to Silverstone circuit) it turns out he can and he does.

He can also be provocative, because it’s all about YouTube views and conflict generally equals more views. So if your security guard doesn’t have their SIA badge on, or your forklift truck doesn’t have the right plates on it, or your neighbours on the industrial estate say you’re blocking the drains with thousands of escaped plastic pellets… then he’ll point all of that out. On film.

As DJ himself says: “I highlight wrongdoings on industrial estates.”

For context, his YouTube channel has 113,000 subscribers. The ‘audits’ mentioned above have 226,000; 40,000; 118,000; 123,000 and 45,000 views respectively.

And DJ is not alone, there’s a bunch of these auditors out there.

Watching his videos made me wonder how I would react if a random bloke started filming me at my place of work. I’d probably be quite perturbed and I probably wouldn’t like it very much at all (now I know who he is, I would of course immediately ask for a keyring).

Yes, DJ Audits also has merchandise.

But the serious point of all of this involves two warnings:

Warning one: if you haven’t already briefed your staff about how to behave, what to say – and what not to say – if a YouTube auditor rocks up at your site, then please consider issuing some guidance ASAP. 

Explain to your people how they can deal with such a situation politely and professionally, and without, for example, threatening to “take that drone off you and drive over it with this forklift”, as happened at Bargain Booze in Crewe.

Warning two: these videos are curiously compelling. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering why you’ve just spent half an hour watching him visit Lidl’s new distribution hub in Luton, rather than doing something more useful like FINISHING THAT ARTICLE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING. But that might just be me.