Groups Praise Sen. Markey and Google for Ensuring Children on YouTube Receive Key Safeguards
BOSTON, MA & WASHINGTON, DC—December 18, 2019—The organizations that spurred the landmark FTC settlement with Google over COPPA violations applauded the announcement of additional advertising safeguards for children on YouTube today. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) commended Google for announcing it would apply most of its robust marketing protections on YouTube Kids, including no advertising of food or beverages or harmful products, to all child-directed content on its main YouTube platform. The groups also lauded Senator Markey for securing a public commitment from Google to implement these long-overdue safeguards. The advocates expressed disappointment, however, that Google did not agree to prohibit paid influencer marketing and product placement to children on YouTube as it does on YouTube Kids
“Sen. Ed Markey has long been and remains the champion for kids,” said Jeff Chester, CDD’s executive director. “Through the intervention of Sen. Markey, Google has finally committed to protecting children whether they are on the main YouTube platform or using the YouTube Kids app. Google has acted responsibly in announcing that its advertising policies now prohibit any food and beverage marketing on YouTube Kids, as well as ads involving ‘sexually suggestive, violent or dangerous content.’ However, we remain concerned that Google may try to weaken these important child- and family-friendly policies in the near future. Thus we call on Google to commit to keeping these rules in place, and to implement other needed safeguards that children deserve,” added Chester.
Josh Golin, Executive Director of CCFC, said, “We are so grateful to Senator Markey for his leadership on one of the most crucial issues faced by children and families today. And we commend Google for implementing a robust set of advertising safeguards on the most popular online destination for children. We urge Google to take another critical step and prohibit child-directed influencer content on YouTube; if this manipulative marketing isn’t allowed on children’s TV or YouTube Kids, it shouldn’t be targeted to children on the main YouTube platform either.”