Why Are There Tons of Adult Ads on This Popular Children’s Website?
I was browsing the internet for interesting facts about Texas this morning, and I happened to click on the website CoolKidsFacts.com. It's a rather popular site with random information for children to use for book reports, studying, etc. I've seen it plenty of times while searching for article content, and it always comes up at the top of your Google search for random facts about Texas. I scrolled through the section "Texas Facts" and was shocked to see a ton of vape advertisements.
Like this one...
I'm not exactly sure how the advertising works on this website, but it seems a little bit weird that there would be ads for colorful vapes on a page that is clearly made for children to use for educational purposes. It made me wonder if sites like this are regulated at all, as far as advertising goes.
I thought that maybe the ads were simply part of some algorithm, targeting me, a 34-year-old smoker, so I decided to ask my coworkers to look at the website from their computers, too. They got the same results. Ads for cannabis, vape pens, gambling, and booze were all on this kid's website.
So, what's the deal? Is there not some kind of blocker for websites geared toward children? Or is everything just out in the open now? Does the site even have any choice about what kind of ads are on these pages?
I checked out the "About" section of the website at the bottom and found this small disclosure that mentions the content being "100% kid-friendly" and while that may be true for the site itself, the ads are far from it.
I just find it very offputting. I'm no saint. I mentioned before, that I am a smoker myself, but I still don't think ads for pot, vapes, booze, and gambling belong on pages like this one. If your child has ever searched for "Texas Facts" they have probably clicked on this site.
I'm also curious why Google would choose to bring this site to the top of your search, instead of something like Kids.Nationalgeographic.com, which has better information and zero ads geared toward selling minors vapes and other adult products. I understand that CoolKidsFacts.com doesn't have all of the money or bells and whistles, at least from its overall appearance, but it does have that number one spot on your kid's Google search from time to time, and I think that's worth a discussion.
If you have any insight into the matter, I'd love to hear from you. Please email me at Chrissy.Covington@townsquaremedia.com.