December 11th, 2015
Groups Call on FTC to Investigate Food Ads on Kids' Site—Again
By Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP
In two new complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) requested that the agency pursue an investigation into junk food ads on child-directed video sites like YouTube Kids (YTK) and the sites’ relationships with food, beverage, and toy companies and its “unboxing” video partners.
The complaints follow an earlier missive from the groups to the agency about potential deceptive and unfair advertising practices on the video site. Despite that April complaint, “Young children watching YTK are still being exposed to a large amount of deceptive and unfair commercial matter,” the CDD and CCFC told the agency. “It is essential that the FTC complete its investigation and use its enforcement power to stop these deceptive and unfair practices on YTK.”
In the new complaint, the groups argued that members of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) deceptively claim that they comply with their pledge not to advertise to children under the age of 12 even though its members produce hundreds of commercials and videos promoting food and beverage products from CFBAI members.