Youtube Kids faces further complaints about inappropriate ads

Advertisers promised not to target under-12s with ads for sugary snacks and drinks

Ads marketing sugar-laden snacks and drinks have prompted a further round of complaints about Google's YouTube Kids app.

The Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed complaints with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday, accusing Google of unfair and deceptive practices toward children.

Google's YouTube Kids app is supposed to offer kids aged under six a safe space to spend time online, but the two groups said it is rife with ads for snacks and drinks that manufacturers have promised not to market to children.

"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," said CCFC Executive Director Josh Golin.

Coca-Cola Co. placed 47 TV ads and 11 longer promotional videos for Coke and Coke Zero on the app, even though the company promised not to market any beverages to under-12s, the groups said. They also identified 31 TV ads and 21 product placements for Oreos, which manufacturer Mondelez International had also promised not to market to children.

The complaints are not the first the groups have made about YouTube Kids.

They first reported it to the FTC in April, just six weeks after its launch. 

In May they highlighted further problems, including apps containing profanity, jokes about pedophilia, and ads for alcohol.

One of the groups' two filings on Tuesday extends the April complaint.

Google has reneged on its promise at the launch of YouTube Kids that all ads in the app would comply with its policies prohibiting ads for certain products, including food and beverages, said the groups' legal counsel, Angela Campbell of Georgetown University’s Institute for Public Representation.

Instead of enforcing that policy, she said, Google changed it so it wouldn't apply to the TV commercials or longer promotional videos the groups are now complaining about.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?