GOOD

YouTube Kids App Under Fire for Advertising to Kids

Several interest groups have banded together to encourage the FTC to better regulate digital marketing targeting children.

Image via YouTube screencapture

For decades, the Federal Trade Commission has been regulating television advertising with special attention to anything perceived to target the vulnerable minds of America’s youth. Now, consumer groups are advocating the same scrutiny be given to digital advertising, and Google’s new app YouTube Kids is feeling the heat.


Google claims that advertisements on the relatively new kid-centric platform undergo screening meant to filter out ads for food, beverages, video games, and beauty products. But, as the Washington Post points out, on YouTube Kids “McDonald’s has a 7-minute video dispelling myths about the contents of Chicken McNuggets.” Other videos created by Fisher-Price and American Greetings also seem to blur the line between entertainment and advertisement.

The joint complaint made to the FTC urges an investigation of YouTube Kids’ commercial content, contending that the service deliberately tries to “take advantage of children's developmental vulnerabilities and violate long-standing media and advertising safeguards that protect children viewing television.” The concern, long recognized in broadcast and cable ad regulation, stems from young children’s inability to distinguish entertainment or educational programming from commercial advertising.

Groups involved in the charge include the Center for Digital Democracy, the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Children Now, the Consumer Federation of America, the Consumer Watchdog, and Public Citizen.

“In addition to ensuring that Google stops its illegal and irresponsible behavior to children on YouTube Kids, new policies will be required to address the growing arsenal of powerful digital marketing and targeting practices that are shaping contemporary children’s media culture—on mobile phones, social media, gaming devices, and online video platforms,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, in a statement on the CDD website.

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
Communities
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business
via Haldean Brown / Flickr

In a typical work day, people who smoke take more breaks than those who do not. Every few hours they pop outside to have a smoke and usually take a coworker with them.

Don Bryden, Managing director at KCJ Training and Employment Solutions in Swindon, England, thinks that nonsmokers and smokers should be treated equally, so he's giving those who refrain from smoking four extra days to compensate.

Funny enough, Bryden is a smoker himself.

Keep Reading
Health