Young Kids Left PETRIFIED After Being Shown YouTube Ads For Horror Movie

15 June 2018, 13:27 | Updated: 15 June 2018, 13:32

insidious youtube ads
insidious youtube ads. Picture: other
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

The terrifying trailer was placed in front of kids-friendly videos

A small number of kids watching YouTube were left petrified after they were served YouTube pre-roll ads for the gory new horror film 'Insidious: The Last Key.' To make matters worse, the ads were served on videos that were made specifically for very young viewers: a Frozen music video, an Lego video, two videos about Minecraft and a cartoon.

Parents of the terrified tots decided to bring the issue to the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which investigated the ads and then upheld the complaints.

Despite this likely being an algorithmic issue, YouTube argued that the film company - Sony - was at fault, as it was up to them to properly target their adverts. They also argued that the ads had not made it onto their children-only platform 'YouTube Kids' - pointing to this as evidence that their protective systems had worked.

YouTube has been having a rough time lately when it comes to vetting content for kids. On the one hand it came under fire for allowing the rise of very strange, and sometimes fetishistic videos being served to kids - and on the other, censoring child-friendly videos about LGBTQ+ issues.