Summary of Action
It does so by misleadingly blurring the distinction between advertising and organic content for its intended audience: preschoolers under the age of five. (An appraisal of every video published on Ryan ToysReview between January 1 and July 31, 2019 revealed that 92 percent promote at least one product or program that is appropriate for – and targeted at – children under the age of five.)
This age is critical as research shows that children under the age of five are unable to understand or even identify the difference between marketing material and organic content. As such, there is no disclosure of material connection that would be easily understood by the intended audience, which is what FTC law requires when marketing material is natively blended with organic content.
Accordingly, TINA.org filed a complaint with the FTC on August 28, 2019 urging the agency to review the deceptive marketing on Ryan ToysReview’s YouTube channel and take appropriate enforcement action.
Companies that have sponsored endorsements on the channel include, but are not limited to, Hardee’s, Colgate, Chuck E. Cheese, Moose Toys, Zuru, Nickelodeon, Wonderful Halos, Walmart, Playmobil, Wizards of the Coast, Netflix, MGA Entertainment, Hasbro, Of Dragons, Fairies & Wizards, Toys Tots Pets and More (TTPM), Mattel, and WhatNotToys.com.
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