November 25th, 2015
YouTube Kids App Faces New Complaints Over Ads for Junk Food
By Cecilia Kang
The New York Times
Visit YouTube Kids and typically it will not be long before promotions for junk food appear. The advertisements regularly show up in the form of funny contests and animated stories. In complaints filed to federal officials on Tuesday, two prominent consumer advocacy groups argued that those ads were deceptive, particularly for children. The two complaints, made to the Federal Trade Commission, expand on the groups’ filings to the agency in April and could increase pressure on federal officials to intervene in the fast-growing online video market.
The groups, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, argue in the complaints that online video aimed at children is too commercialized and is not held to the same standards that apply to cable and broadcast television. The complaints call for an investigation of food marketers, video programmers and Google, which owns YouTube, as well as for a broad examination of advertising of such food to children online.