MOUNTAIN VIEW (KCBS)— Google launched YouTube Kids, their kid-friendly app, in February to much fanfare, but consumer and child advocacy groups are now filing a complaint against the app with the Federal Trade Commission. The claim says Google is illegally targeting kids with ads.
The app provides a variety of children’s programming from Sesame Street to Bob The Train. In between the videos are public service announcements and advertisements, some of which have upset consumer groups.
Josh Golin, associate director for the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, says there’s too little separation from content and advertising.
“There are long-standing protections designed to protect kids from harmful commercialism, which calls for clear separation between ads and content. On this app, Google has absolutely obliterated those boundaries,” he said.
10 consumer groups have filed a complaint with the FTC. A YouTube spokesperson said the company consulted with numerous privacy and child advocacy groups in developing the Kids app.