GMB viewers OUTRAGED by guest's 'kidfluencer academies' to make children famous and launch YouTube careers
26 July 2019, 15:42
Laura Edwards appeared on Good Morning Britain earlier today to discuss her influencer agency - but was accused of promoting 'child labour' by angry viewers
Good Morning Britain viewers were appalled during today's show after a guest revealed she's setting up 'kidfluencer' academies to help children become famous.
Laura Edwards, co-founder of influencer agency Viral Talent, appeared as a guest on the show, and claimed that her courses provide kids as young as two with the "confidence and editing skills" to launch YouTube careers.
She also revealed that parents in the US are paying up to £800 to send their kids to similar summer camps - and that what they learn there is simply the 'new media'.
Laura appeared alongside Kevin Duala, who argued that these camps may be detrimental to kids' mental health and safety online.
She said: "For a child to be a 'kidfluencer', it's a way of them creating their skill set - it gives them confidence, communication skills.
"Some of our influencers are dancers and footballers so it's an opportunity for them to express their creative skills."
Laura claimed that 'kidfluencers' are actually safer online than other children as they have their parents' supervision.
She said: "It's actually safer because the parents run and manage the channels, so it's actually safer than each child individually having their own account.
"If they're not an influencer, as parents you don't know what they're looking at unless you monitor it. Whereas families manage these accounts and police the likes and comments.
"The children go to the summer camps to learn how to edit, learn how to film, to learn how to make a thumbnail in order to make good content."
One 'kidfluencer' - Ryan Kaji - reportedly earns around £16.8m a year, and Laura added: "This is new media. This is influencer marketing.
"If you go into a classroom and ask them how many children want to be influencers, I can guarantee you it will be in excess of around 40 per cent. It's just the way of their life now."
Viewers were outraged by Laura's claims, and took to Twitter to share their frustration.
One wrote: "This woman is making money from families who want to make their children famous and get freebies.
"Parents are put under pressure from these 'kidfluencers' and children will ask for every toy shown.
"They are being used as advertisers and where's the safeguarding for them etc."
And a second argued: "This is actually just another example where the online world isn't regulated.
"This gap is there because they banned advertising kids toys on TV."