YouTube prohibits all food and beverage ads next to children’s content starting 10 January
In a letter sent on 13 December to US Senator Edward J. Markey, Google revealed that all food and beverage advertising, irrespective of the product’s nutritional profile, in and around ‘Made for Kids’ content on YouTube Main will be prohibited from 10 January 2020 onwards. Such prohibitions currently only apply on YouTube Kids. The age of a “kid” in the United States is defined as anyone under the age of 13.
The new Made for Kids content classifier was created as a result of the recent FTC COPPA settlement. For existing content, YouTube will categorise content as Made for Kids based on criteria such as emphasis on kids’ characters, themes, toys or games and more. They will also incorporate content currently classified as Content Suitable for Families, which typically captures basic learning games (e.g. learning the alphabet), educational tutorials (e.g. science how-to videos) and cartoons/animations for younger audiences. New content will be classified through self-designation from the content creators. Machine learning will also be used, according to the official blogpost.
This specific policy only covers paid-for ads (pre-rolls, mid-rolls, banners) – not product placement and endorsements in user-generated videos.
AANA is engaging with YouTube to further clarify how Made for Kids content will be defined and what the impact on food and beverage advertisers will be.