FTC complaint alleges Google, Disney & others profit from deceptive ads aimed at kids
Consumer watchdog groups, CCFC, Public Citizen, and the Center for Digital Democracy, are again targeting the deceptive advertising practices of “influencer marketing” in a new complaint filed with the FTC on Friday. The groups specifically call out Google’s YouTube and YouTube Kids, Disney-owned Maker Studios, Dreamworks’ AwesomenessTV and others, as being involved in this damaging practice.
“Influencer marketing,” by way of background, is referencing the way popular content creators and video stars will distribute ads and other commercial material, without properly disclosing that they’re being compensated for doing so.
In particular, the consumer watchdog organizations complain that these sorts of ads are pushing toys, junk food and other products toward kids, who can’t yet tell the difference between paid advertising and content.
By law, existing FTC regulations require that advertisements are disclosed. But the groups say that many influencers fail to make the proper disclosures, leading kids to pester parents for costly goods and unhealthy foods.