YouTube removes Kindle Paperwhite ad

YouTube removes Kindle Paperwhite ad

I recently polled my readers for their opinions about a new ad for the Kindle Paperwhite.

I directed them to a link at YouTube.

This ad was appearing on the page where I have seen official Kindle ads posted before, and which is described as

“The official YouTube channel of Kindle and Kindle Fire. Watch TV commercials, exclusive author interviews, feature videos, and more!”

This morning, one of my readers in a comment, said that the link was going to a notice that the video had been removed “…as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.”

I checked the link, and confirmed that was what happened: no video, but a notice that it had been removed.

My reader not unreasonably asked me what the video had said, and if it was from Amazon.

I had not described the video in the previous posting, because I really don’t like to spoil things for people, and at this point, close to 40% of respondents thought the video was “clever” and close to 20% said they had been surprised by it.

However, I am now going to describe the ad. The easy way there was to view it is currently unavailable. It’s worth noting that I did see this ad on TV during the Top Chef finale…although that might have been geographically limited, and limited by the way you were viewing it (I saw it through cable).

The ad is a callback to previous Amazon Kindle ads:

It shows someone reading on a Kindle outside by the pool and another person struggling with reading a backlit device in the bright sunlight.

The Kindle owner, in this case as it was in the most talked-about of the previous ads, is a woman in a bikini. I’m mentioning that because it is important to the messaging in the ad.

The non-Kindle user is a man who looks like he is on vacation…not cleanly shaven, wearing what is probably a swimsuit with a shirt.

It wouldn’t be unexpected for this to be a flirtatious situation.

The non-Kindle user taps his device.

Him: “Done.”

Her: “With your book?”

Him: “Nope. I just bought a Kindle Paperwhite…we should celebrate!”

Her: “My husband’s bringing me a drink right now.”

Him: “So’s mine!”

They look over their shoulders and wave at their husbands.

They then go back to reading.


I don’t see anything here that would be a scam or commercially deceptive. If it is spam, so are the other Amazon Kindle ads…which are still up at YouTube.

I clicked the link at YouTube to get more information about the video being removed.

That took me here:

Interestingly, not much of what was on that page had to do with “spam, scams, and commercially deceptive” material.

That wasn’t completely absent, but most of it was community guidelines that would affect non-commercial posters.

Looking at those guidelines, I don’t see where the ad is in violation.

Part of one of the explanations on that YouTube page says:

“Okay, this one is more about us than you. YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When they do, we remove them. Sometimes a video doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines, but may not be appropriate for everyone. These videos may be age-restricted.”

My guess as to what happened here?

People who were uncomfortable with the content flagged the video. YouTube removed it.

I suppose another scenario is that Amazon was hacked and a fake video was uploaded, but that seems unlikely to me, given that it was also on TV.

In my poll, at time of writing, the second most popular response (after “I thought it was clever”) was “What’s the big deal?”

About 7% of the respondents have said they were offended by the ad…and about 2.5% say it made them less likely to shop at Amazon.

The result that almost three times the number of people who said they would be less likely to shop said they were offended is what I would have expected. You can be offended by an ad without then changing your shopping habits based on it.

If you want to give feedback to YouTube about the removal* of this ad, you can do so on the page that previously housed the video by clicking a Send Feedback link. That page, linked above, is here:

Update: you can see the ad here:

Update: access to the video on YouTube has been restored. YouTube tends to err on the side of removal, since they have no legal obligation to display a video, but could get in trouble by doing so, at least in the case of infringement.  I didn’t think that would be as likely to happen with a major company like Amazon, though. I would guess that what happened here is some people flagged the video as iniappropriate, YouTube removed it, and then re-examined the case, perhaps prompted by feedback such as that left at the above link. They then reversed the removal.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

18 Responses to “YouTube removes Kindle Paperwhite ad”

  1. New Kindle Paperwhite ad: what do you think? | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Kindle Paperwhite ad (Update: YouTube has apparently removed the ad. For more information, see my later post.) […]

  2. jh Says:

    I felt like it took away from what the commercial was about, the kindle. At the end you are not thinking about the Kindle. You are thinking about..”what did they say?” So not a good commercial to have your product remembered. IMO

  3. Sheryl Painter Says:

    Bufo, thanks for the info on the ad being censored. I did just leave feedback to YouTube asking why they removed the ad. I find it more upsetting that they actually removed it than the ad was. I marked on the survey “What’s the big deal?” and am always more than a little irritated when a few uptight people are allowed to judge what is or isn’t upsetting or “deceptive, spam or …”. There is so much actually inappropriate on YouTube that isn’t a professionally created ad for something – yet THIS ad is removed. It always scares me when a few can censor for the majority. That’s how book censorship occurs for such great reads like Huckleberry Finn and Harry Potter. Nudity, sexual acts, language? Nope – nothing in this ad. And for those who would think I have a dog in this argument – I am not gay. I am not an uptight closed-minded judgemental person either. Or, maybe I’m more judgemental than I care to admit – afterall, I just judged those who found this offensive, didn’t I! I’ll stick with my judgement as long as they have control over judging what I read and see.

    Bufo – keep up the wonderful work you do about bringing us all news e-book and e-reader! You provide us with information and let US judge how to think about it. I can always count on you providing us with links to actual information!


  4. jjhitt Says:

    Any chance this was done because Amazon and Google (YouTube) are competitors?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, jjhitt!

      It seems unlikely, since the other Amazon Kindle ads (including ones for the Fire, which is a more direct competitor) are still up at YouTube.

      • jjhitt Says:

        As best I have been able to learn, the video was targeted by ‘One Million Moms’ (AKA American Family Association).

        In other words, it was taken down due to a deliberate and organized attack.

  5. cardinalrobbins Says:

    Bufo, thank you for posting about the ad being removed from You Tube. I’m going to leave feedback for them, because that’s absolutely ridiculous to take down such a cute, clever ad.

    I’m totally hetero, but have dear friends and close relatives who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bi-sexual. It’s insulting to me to have any of them discriminated against, which is what’s happened by YT removing that ad. It makes me want to shop even *more* at Amazon, which gets a very hefty amount of my business as it is.

    Thank you for always keeping us informed and educated. You have no idea how much I appreciate your efforts, because I have a pretty good idea how much time you must spend online helping everyone.

    Quick question: If we have a topic you may want to check out for a future blog entry, what is your e-mail address?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, cardinalrobbins!

      The best way to contact me concerning my writing is to leave a comment at my About page:

      If you want the communication to be kept private, you can say so in the comment. I see your e-mail address when you comment something, but readers of the blog don’t. I can then e-mail you to respond to your comment, if that seems appropriate. I do not use the e-mail address for purposes other than a reader initiated conversation.

      People can find my e-mail address on the internet, of course, but I am much less likely to see something there and respond to it in a timely manner. I check this quite frequently.

  6. linnerlu Says:

    Thanks for the info, Bufo … and for the link to the Feedback page. I’ve left feedback objecting to removal of the ad because of a few people’s prejudice. Sheryl (above) said it very well, and I appreciate you as well.

  7. Alisha Says:

    That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. There is nothing remotely offensive about this add. My hubby summed it up nicely though. He says “Gays aren’t allowed read? Who knew!” 😛

  8. Sherri Says:

    Looks like they restored the ad, as I just watched it again. I have to admit I am in the camp of “I thought it was a cute ad”. And I was disappointed with a number of the comments on YouTube regarding it.

  9. Evan Says:

    All content creators will tell you the same thing, that youtube pulls content first and asks questions later. (actually there are no questions; content creators can only appeal and hope for the best.) So regardless if its a takedown request from a rights holder or emotional complaints from some of our less… enlightened… friends, videos just disappear and thats that.
    Kind of a bummer really.

  10. Louie Says:

    I tend to agree with JH, punch-line seems out of advertising context. No return to product may leave one wondering. Only Budweiser could pull off something like this

  11. oldiesuz Says:

    It is a constant puzzle how YouTube can leave some videos of full films up and running, and then remove others for who knows what reason. However, there is so much gay content on YouTube and everywhere else that I can’t imagine a takedown due to complaints from the narrow minded. But who knows? I can say this, I am Christian woman in my 50s and I have had gay friends since I was a teenager, and am a supporter of gay marriage and equal rights. My son and his wife are godparents to a gay couple’s son as well. If the reason for this ‘takedown’ is due to some complaints, I am very disappointed at how a major media behometh could give in to such silliness, especially since the video is not in any way sexual. I would hope we are all beyond that now.

  12. alanchurch Says:

    Bufo, thanks for your post replying to my inquiry. I the completeness of your response, your checking and explaining every aspect of the situation. You are a great resource.

  13. Shannon Says:

    Yay utube!!! Amazon u suck!!

  14. castlemouse Says:

    Doesn’t matter to me if YouTube leaves it up or not because I have a choice whether to watch it or not. Love and “tolerance” have nothing to do with not wanting immoral behavior shoved down my throat. I can choose to watch or not watch a program filled with homosexuality. But Amazon has taken that choice away from me when they put it into a commercial that my family is subjected to without any warning. I am not on a “witch hunt” with this but I have rights too and I believe that homosexuality is wrong. I don’t have a choice when I am in public with what I see but when I’m in my home I should have a choice, just as they have a choice. We, as a society, have stopped aligning our “choices” with the standard of God’s Word and it is showing in the rapid decline of morality and family. I am not a bigot and have always shown love to my friends and family that have chosen the homosexual lifestyle (and it is a choice, God did not make anyone homosexual). I respect them and their choice and they respect me as well. What I have a big problem with is the fact that a big segment of the homosexual community is trying to FORCE everyone into their way of thinking. That is not right! They are not forced to believe what I believe. The fact remains though, if every person on the planet decided to become gay, we would eventually cease to exist! God loves all people, but He does have a reason for what He tells us is right and wrong. Amazon, I own 2 Kindle Fires and am SUPER disappointed with you and your commercial. It is my sincere hope that you will reconsider this approach as you have a huge heterosexual following that is very upset by this commercial!

  15. Chicken Little: “Amazon is removing all erotica and self-published books” | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] some books which “shouldn’t” be removed? Sure, that might happen…just as YouTube removed an Amazon ad for the Kindle Paperwhite that some people apparently found offensive. They won’t be any under obligation to restore books that got caught in too wide a sweep, but […]

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