To some degree, age restrictions are often thrown out the window. Lots of parents let their kids see R-rated movies, for example, and young teenagers are sometimes treated to parking lot driving lessons. But corporations that are in the public eye can’t cut corners, and YouTube addressed this issue today by introducing a new age-related feature for advertisers.
Alice Wu, Head of Ads Policy, explained on the YouTube Blog, "[W]e’re pleased to offer a new feature that allows select advertisers to voluntarily age-restrict watch pages for their videos. This is a long-requested feature by many advertisers interested in promoting their products, but who want to be sure that they comply with their own industry guidelines regulations."
Wu then noted (in case the option sounds familiar), "Advertisers have always been able to age-restrict their channels generally, but to date only users could flag specific videos that they thought should be age-restricted under our Community Guidelines. Now, advertisers can do so proactively, and can choose different ages depending on their needs."
This is a smart move on YouTube’s part since it’ll allow many more companies to feel comfortable working with the site. And the industries that will be affected have long been known to have big advertising budgets (think about the alcohol business, for example).
The move’s also smart because it could help impress parents who want to keep their children sheltered. Or at least limit the opportunity for the parents to complain.
Look for the feature to be taken advantage of more and more over the next few months as advertisers get in touch with their account representatives and prepare new material.