The news is out: [A top YouTube toy reviewer is facing accusations of misleading preschoolers into watching ads by not disclosing sponsorship deals.
Ryan ToysReview — one of the most popular YouTube channels, with billions of views and more than 21 million subscribers — features an excitable 7-year-old named Ryan unboxing toys and playing with them and going on kid-friendly adventures. The channel, run by Ryan’s parents, Shion and Loann Kaji, was YouTube’s top earner in 2018, according to Forbes, bringing in $22 million.
But a watchdog group alleges Ryan ToysReview has raked in its profits under “deceptive native advertising” through product placement that youngsters are not able to discern as a sales pitch — a violation of Federal Trade Commission law.
In a complaint filed to the FTC dated Aug. 28, Truth in Advertising accuses the channel of deceptively promoting “a multitude of products to millions of preschool-aged children.”
The target audience for the videos is children under 5 years old, “a particularly vulnerable class” who are not yet able to distinguish between commercials and other content, Truth in Advertising adds.]
These Ryan videos are trash; not one ounce of educational content or entertaining value. YouTube is complicit by allowing buzzards like these to spread their manure on American kids.