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YouTube Ad Complaints: 2 Groups Upset Over Junk-Food Marketing to Kids

Image: YouTube Ad Complaints: 2 Groups Upset Over Junk-Food Marketing to Kids
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By    |   Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 11:48 AM

Junk-food ads and other inappropriate content on the YouTube Kids App have drawn criticism and complaints from two child advocacy groups, which have called on the Federal Trade Commission to regulate Google.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy submitted FTC filings on Tuesday, demanding that the agency broaden its investigation of the YouTube Kids app to include Google's relationships with a variety of advertisers, programmers, and companies that do product-placement marketing on YouTube, the organizations said in a press release.

Google's YouTube Kids App hit the market in February, marketed to children aged five and younger, The New York Times reported. By April, CCFC and CDD had filed complaints about advertising on the app, and the complaints filed this week expand on those initial protests.


"Far from being a safe place for kids to explore, YouTube Kids is awash with food and beverage marketing that you won’t find on other media platforms for young children," CCFC’s Josh Golin said in the release. "The Commission should investigate why Google’s algorithms aren’t configured to keep junk food marketing off of YouTube Kids, and hold food and beverage companies accountable for violating their pledges not to target their most unhealthy products to children."

In the expanded complaints, the two advocacy organizations demand that the FTC hold 17 food and beverage "accountable for violating the self-regulatory pledges they made as members of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI)," the release said. "A review of YouTube Kids by CCFC and CDD found hundreds of commercials and promotional videos for products these companies had publicly pledged not to market to children under the age of 12."

“You have digital natives consuming content simultaneously with the growth of powerful marketing at children at the earliest ages,” Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the CDD, told The Times. “The agencies are lagging and the companies are emboldened.”

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Junk-food ads and other inappropriate content on the YouTube Kids App have drawn criticism and complaints from two child advocacy groups, which have called on the Federal Trade Commission to regulate Google.
youtube, app, complaints, federal trade commission
351
2015-48-25
Wednesday, 25 Nov 2015 11:48 AM
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