Two months after YouTube introduced the new standalone app for kids, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was experiencing complaints from consumer groups and children advocacy groups in the United States.
The various consumer groups complaining about the new advertising for kids include; Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Children Now and Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
The group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They argued that the advertisements supported by the videos did not hold the same standards with standard TV advertisements.
Google’s introduction of YouTube Kids on Android and iOS in February had promised a video streaming experience that was tailored and filtered to suit the intended viewers. That meant no inappropriate content and content meant or kids only. Critics were quick to point out that the advertisements did not align with the educational and entertainment motives intended by YouTube.
The activists claimed that the children will not be able to distinguish between the entertainment content and the advert content. The complaint is expected to receive attention from the FTC because of the strict guidelines set by the internet content regulation.
Further on, the complaint groups went ahead to state that the company was going against its rules. YouTube Kids advertising policy had prohibited the advertising of topics such as politics, food and beverages, religion, dating, and relationships.
There was a particular attack on the food and beverages clause due to adverts from McDonald’s and others being aired on the kids’ platform. Professor Dave Kunkel of the University of Arizona explained that Google was using unfair and deceiving strategies by mixing the entertainment with advertisement
The complaints about the company have the makings of a valid argument and will most likely be considered by the FTC. If this happens, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will be forced to review its policies and make changes altogether. The advertising could be scrapped from the children’s section.