According to the groups, they claim that these ads are deceptively targeting children and that they are trying to sell products through its ads. Apparently this is a rule that goes back to the 1970s that prevents companies from placing such ads during children’s shows with the reasoning that kids have yet to develop the resistance against such ads or understand why they are being targeted in the first place.
Part of the complaint lists McDonalds as an example, stating that, “McDonald’s has its own channel on YouTube Kids … (presenting) promotional videos styled as news reports on topics such as, ‘What are McDonald’s McNuggets made of?’ … (Branded channels) take advantage of children because they do not understand that the entire channel is actually advertising.”
YouTube has since responded to the complaint (via San Jose Mercury News) saying, “When developing YouTube Kids we consulted with numerous partners and child advocacy and privacy groups. We are always open to feedback on ways to improve the app.” There are some who have defended YouTube, claiming that these ads are part of how Google/YouTube makes their money and that it exposes kids to the reality of ads, just as long as it is kids-friendly, but what say you?