As part of its updated ad policies, popular online game creation platform Roblox will no longer allow ads targeting users under the age of 13.
As reported by GameIndustry.biz, the company has rolled out the changes almost a year after non-profit advertising watchdog organization Truth In Advertising (TINA) filed an FTC complaint accusing Roblox of violating federal law as well as its own policies by showing ads to more than 25 million children and teenagers.
‘’We write to the Federal Trade Commission concerning Roblox Corporation, a multibillion-dollar public company that operates a closed platform metaverse, where advertising is surreptitiously pushed in front of millions of consumers, including more than 25 million children and adolescents, by a multitude of companies and their avatar influencers,’’ TINA said in its complaint. ‘’Such digital deception is possible because Roblox has failed to establish any meaningful guardrails to ensure compliance with truth in advertising laws…’’
Months after the complaint, the organization filed another complaint claiming that Roblox had not made sufficient changes to its policies.
‘’In short, despite Roblox’s public statements to the contrary, children on Roblox are not blocked from all advertising material; they are only blocked from advertisements by marketers who have responsibly selected an older age range to correspond with their advergames,’’ the organization said in its follow-up complaint.
Meanwhile, Roblox’s new ad policies also bans many other types of ads, including:
- Ads that solicit charitable donations
- Ads that promote multilevel marketing companies or their products
- Ads that promote financial services (such as tax preparation or credit monitoring services)
- Ads that promote cryptocurrencies and NFTs
In 2022, Roblox revenue grew by 16% Y/Y to $2.2 billion, and the number of its daily active users also increased by 23% Y/Y to 56 million.