Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected].
On the heels of Google’s agreement to pay $170 million in fines relating to Federal Trade Commission accusations that YouTube pursued children in ads comes more problems for the video site. This week, Truth in Advertising, a nonprofit that tracks misleading marketing, filed a complaint with the FTC against one of the most site’s most popular young influencers. TINA.org alleges that “Ryan ToysReview,” a YouTube channel that showcases the toy reviews of Ryan, a Gen Alpha consumer who has inked a bevy of licensing deals with retailers including Target, is using “deceptive advertising” by purposefully targeting pre-school-age children as its “intended audience.”
TINA.org analyzed Ryan’s videos from Jan. 1 through July 31 and found a reference to products for kids under five in 90 percent of them. “While mom and dad are the ones who end up buying the products Ryan ToysReview promotes in its native ads, they’re not the intended audience,” TINA.org said in a release. “Any material connection between an advertiser (i.e. Ryan ToysReview) and the seller of the advertised product must be clearly and conspicuously disclosed in a manner that will be easily understood by the intended audience.”
Shion Kaji, Ryan’s father, responded with a statement: “The well-being of our viewers is always the top priority for us and we strictly follow all platforms’ terms of service and all existing laws and regulations, including advertising disclosure requirements. As the streaming space continues to quickly grow and evolve, we support efforts by lawmakers, industry representatives, and regulators such as the FTC to continuously evaluate and update existing guidelines and lay new ground rules to protect both viewers and creators.”
Oprah’s back on stage
Oprah Winfrey is back with a national arena tour in partnership with WW. The brand formerly known as Weight Watchers is presenting “Oprah 2020: Your Life in Focus,” the media mogul’s first national arena tour in five years. The tour kicks off Jan. 4 in Ft. Lauderdale. “On each stop, attendees will spend the day with Oprah as she shares the personal ups and downs of her wellness journey and guides them to develop their own 2020 action plan through motivating conversations, the latest in wellness research and insightful interactive workbook exercises,” WW announced today.
WW members get the first crack at the tickets when they go on sale this month. Winfrey announced the tour in a video on her Facebook page on Wednesday. Live Nation is producing the tour in conjunction with Women Nation, a new division for women-led and -driven live events, WW says. No word yet on the potential for any car giveaways or celebrities jumping on couches.
Nissan gets emotional
Allyson Witherspoon, who took over as Nissan North America’s top marketing exec in March, is starting to put her stamp on the brand’s advertising with work that incorporates more storytelling. Previously, Nissan’s ads leaned heavily on special effects as it plugged technology-fueled driver assistance systems.
Nissan is still putting a heavy emphasis on plugging the tech, but Witherspoon’s work incorporates more emotion. Consider a new ad for Versa, which broke this week. It shows a husband and wife swapping the small car as he comes home from the night shift and she begins her workday. “We want to take a much more human approach to how we explain technology and relationships with the cars,” Witherspoon says. “It’s not enough to talk about tech for the sake of tech.” TBWA is the lead agency on the Versa campaign.