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Home / Business / He's 7 and makes millions on YouTube. Now an FTC complaint

He's 7 and makes millions on YouTube. Now an FTC complaint




(News)

The highest earning YouTube star in the world is in hot water, or at least his family – because the star himself is only seven years old. The Ryan Toys Review channel, which earned its young star an estimated $ 22 million last year, was accused by consumer watchdog Truth in Advertising of making fraudulent advertising to its young audiences, Buzzfeed News. The group, which has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, claims that the family is not properly disclosing their ad transactions, and mixes sponsored content with regular content on their channel without clarifying what content is actually an ad. It adds that sometimes revelations flash briefly on the screen when young viewers are still unable to read, NBC News reports. Ryan's family issued a statement to Buzzfeed in which they denied any wrongdoing and stated that it supported any efforts by the regulators "to protect viewers and authors."

The group offers two videos as examples: one in which Ryan plays in a fake drive-thru with no sponsored content, and a similar one in which he plays in a fake drive-thru while playing his toy partnership with a fast food Chain. "Unfortunately, it's often difficult to spot the innocent (or sometimes not so innocent) antics on Ryan Toys Review videos from the sponsored content," the group said. And while adults may be able to tell the difference, preschoolers can not. The broadcaster "fraudulently promotes a variety of products among millions of preschoolers, which violates the FTC Act," the group said. The law in question states that advertisements must be "clearly and conspicuously published in a manner that is easily understood by the intended audience." The FTC claims to have received the complaint, but has not indicated whether an investigation has been initiated. (Google makes big changes to "kid" Youtube videos.)

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