How Can Advertisers Navigate the YouTube Made-For-Kids Controversy?
Sep 11, 2023
Evidence collected by research company Adalytics suggests that YouTube ads targeted for adults might inadvertently be appearing on children's channels. Furthermore, they could be collecting children’s personal data. While advertisers might feel they lack full control to prevent this, proper settings can significantly reduce the risk. To shield your brand and conserve your budget, some of the top advertisers decide to exclude "Content Suitable for Families”, which is the closest proxy for kids-content available in campaign setup. The Adfidence platform offers an automated rule to facilitate such exclusions on a global scale.
Unpacking Adalytics' Claims
Back in 2019, Google settled a case with the FTC over collecting children's personal data without parental consent. Following this, YouTube’s CEO committed to halting the display of personalized ads on content tailored for kids and vowed to stop data collection on such content.
Yet, come July 2023, Adalytics alleges that YouTube is displaying personalized ads on made-for-kids (MFK) channels and might also be harvesting data from young viewers.
Ads from large advertisers, inc. Mars, Samsung, and Ford, targeted at adult audiences have been spotted on children’s channels. This suggests that advertisers could inadvertently be collecting data from underage viewers, raising privacy concerns.
In response to Adalytics' claims, Google portrayed the findings as potentially misreading YouTube's advertising protocols for children's content. They assert their strict policy against ad personalization or child-targeting across all their products. Google has also reached out to Adalytics for further insights and highlighted the feature allowing advertisers to opt-out of displaying their ads alongside "made-for-kids" content on YouTube.
Safeguarding Your Brand's Reputation and Budgets
As the digital marketing industry casts a critical eye on Google’s practices, brands are left questioning: How can we protect our ads on YouTube?
There might not be a one-size-fits-all answer, and fully addressing every concern is challenging. Still, certain measures can shield brands from undue exposure. A proactive step is to exclude specific content types, with many brands already opting to exclude "Content Suitable for Families", which is the closest proxy for kids-content that is available in settings.
However, this process grows intricate for global advertisers overseeing multiple ad accounts. This is where Adfidence steps up, introducing an automated check within our platform. Brands receive alerts for any YouTube ad that does not adhere to the “Content Suitable for Families” exclusion, allowing for easy identification and prompt adjustments.
For further information, please connect with our dedicated team at firstname.lastname@example.org.