Popular YouTube toy reviewer who's just a kid under scrutiny for 'deceptive advertising'
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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.
Tyra’s new bag
Nine West has a fierce new face. The brand, which was acquired after bankruptcy last year by Authentic Brands Group, has tapped supermodel Tyra Banks as its new global ambassador. She’ll start by starring in the fashion brand’s fall campaign, “Groundbreakers,” which was created internally and will begin running in October. More marketing focused on the power of women will follow, a spokeswoman says. Natasha Fishman, executive VP of marketing at ABG said in a statement that the company is focused on “restoring the brand to its former greatness.”
Would you buy this?
Orvis’ new eco-friendly ComfortFill-Eco couch dog bed is made with 146 recycled water bottles and costs upwards of $169.
Number of the week
74 percent: The share of U.S. sports fans who say they’re fans of the NFL, by far No. 1 among all sports, according to Kantar. Major League Baseball comes in a distant second at 55 percent. It’s a sign that concussions, domestic violence incidents and growing seepage of politics into the game haven’t dimmed enthusiasm much. However, among millennials, only 68 percent consider themselves fans of the sport, vs. 80 percent of Generation X and older generations, according to Kantar. Demographically, NFL fans are slightly more likely to be male, earn over $100,000 a year, and be Democrats than the general population.
Comings and Goings
L’Oreal USA has a new CEO – Stephane Rinderknech, who previously was CEO of L’Oreal China since 2016. He replaces Frederic Roze, who remains executive VP of Americas of L’Oreal, and will report to Roze. Rinderknech joined L’Oreal’s travel retail business in the U.S. in 2001 and has since served as general manager of Lancome in Japan, general manager of Luxury in Korea, and head of L’Oreal China’s Luxury and Consumer Products divisions.
Karin Timpone will be leaving Marriott International at the end of the year, a spokesman for the hotel chain said Wednesday. Timpone had served as global marketing officer at Marriott since 2013; she is most recently responsible for the rollout of new loyalty program Bonvoy.
Contributing: Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl, E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff