Another Monster At The End Of This Book is the latest educational kids app from Callaway Digital to see an advertising takeover. The 15 second full-screen video ad, which plays before the app starts, also includes a link to the sponsor’s site. The new “sponsored” app, has irritated customers who previously bought the app, only to see ads appear in the update. While Callaway is aware of the issue, it is difficult to believe that this problem didn’t surface prior to launch.
A recent report by the FTC (Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not
Making the Grade) bemoans the lack of progress in children’s apps. With new COPPA regulations coming into effect July 1st, 2013 there will be many changes in children’s apps, but these do not address the issue of targeting advertising to children.
While the Sesame Street title includes Earth Best as the sponsor, Endless Alphabet includes a 30 second video ad for a children’s app that includes in-app purchases of up to $99.99. Sesame Street has long avoided advertising, while courting partners to help the non-profit reach it’s educational goals. Implementation of ads in Another Monster At The End Of This Book app seems to be the polar opposite of what they have done in the past.
With several popular children’s characters in the Callaway Digital portfolio, we don’t expect that it will be long before Thomas The Tank, Angelina Ballerina, and Mr. Potato Head gets their own sponsors. After all, wouldn’t Mr Potato head make a wonderful spokesperson for Lay’s.
It’s a pity that large developers and trusted brands feel the need to over commercialize children’s apps, while independent developers struggle go do the right thing, develop quality apps and just stay in business.
At BestAppsForKids.com we are committed to bringing parents, educators, and caregivers the “best apps for kids” and that means no advertising. Not now. Not ever.