Google, Awesomeness TV and Maker Studios Come Under Fire for Influencer Marketing to Kids
A group of industry watchdogs are calling for Google, DreamWorks’ Awesomeness TV, Walt Disney’s Maker Studios and two other companies to stop influencer marketing that targets children.
The Center for Digital Democracy, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Public Citizen on Friday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to investigate and take action against the companies for what they called “unfair and deceptive practice of targeting influencer marketing toward children.” They also urged the FTC to issue policy guidelines that would prohibit companies from using influencers to target children.
It has become increasingly common for marketers to create content featuring popular personalities on YouTube, which is part of Google, and other online celebrities to promote their brands and products on social platforms.
In a press release, the advocacy groups argued that these “‘influencer’ ads take unfair advantage of kids, who do not have the ability to recognize that companies use social media and YouTube celebrities to pitch toys, junk food and other products.”