Teams Say YouTube Youngsters App Pushes ‘Misleading’ Advertisements on Youngsters

Google is refuting claims by a gaggle of shopper advocates that its new YouTube Youngsters cellular app targets younger youngsters with unfair and misleading promoting. Google launched the app in February as a "safer" place for teenagers to discover movies as a result of it was restricted to "household-targeted content material." However the shopper activists say the app is so full of ads and product placements that it is arduous to inform the distinction between leisure and commercials. One instance they cite is a 7-plus-minute video of Disney’s "Frozen" characters who seem as dolls inside a toy McDonald’s, consuming ice cream and consuming Sprite. "This mixing of youngsters’s programming content material with promoting materials on tv has lengthy been prohibited as a result of it’s unfair and misleading to youngsters," the buyer advocates stated in a letter Tuesday to the Federal Commerce Fee, asking it to research. The activists say digital media must be topic to the identical guidelines as tv, which limits business content material on youngsters’ programming.

In a press release, YouTube denied the coalition’s claims. "We labored with quite a few companions and baby advocacy teams when creating YouTube Youngsters. Whereas we’re all the time open to suggestions on methods to enhance the app, we weren’t contacted immediately by the signers of this letter and strongly disagree with their contentions, together with the suggestion that no free, advert-supported expertise for teenagers will ever be acceptable," a spokesperson stated. "We disagree and assume that nice content material should not be reserved for less than these households who can afford it."

Teams that signed the letter to the FTC have been the Middle for Digital Democracy, the Marketing campaign for a Business-Free Childhood, American Academy of Youngster and Adolescent Psychiatry, Middle for Science within the Public Curiosity, Youngsters Now, Shopper Federation of America, Shopper Watchdog, Shoppers Union, Company Accountability Worldwide and Public Citizen. FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan stated the fee will evaluate the considerations raised by the teams.

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— The Related Press and NBC Information
First revealed April 7 2015, 2:20 PM