Here We Go Again: Klout Targets Minors With #CCMorningBurst Perks Promotion [Updated]

“Klout has no interest in understanding the influence of minors. We are working with Facebook and Twitter on this, as well as building our own safeguards to make sure this does not happen.” — Klout CEO Joe Fernandez, November 11, 2011.  As of one month ago, Klout’s privacy policy included that same statement, as quoted by me in this blog comment.  It has since been removed.

I guess Joe has changed his mind, since this week, Klout delivered the following letter, addressed to “Dear Teen Influencer and Parent,” as part of a Perks promotion on behalf of Clean & Clear’s Morning Burst Body wash:

This letter was delivered to Tracy on her Beauty Reflections blog, who is not a teen.  Others who have received the package include Zoobia (who graduated from college in 2009, according to her LinkedIn profile), Ross Dunn (married, father, ’86 graduate, according to his Twitter bio and LinkedIn profile), and YouTube marketing expert Josh Rimer.  Clearly, whatever technique Klout is using to deliver this promotion to “Teen Influencers” is not working.  We also got a nice chuckle over the completely inappropriate image of Joe Fernandez telling a teen to “have fun with your parent discovering this Klout Perk,” given that the perk in question is a body wash.

More importantly, however:  why is Klout targeting teens–barely 6 months after a major privacy fail based on Klout creating profiles for minors raised a furor, including coverage in The New York Times, forced Klout to create an opt-out policy, and directly contributed to many high profile users deleting their Klout profiles?

WTF, Joe Fernandez?

UPDATE 4/15:

Joe Fernandez has contacted me to clarify that Klout is “not targeting people under the age of 18.”   According to Joe, the campaign was not accurately represented by the copy on the card that was sent with the perk, which he describes as “embarrassing.”

He writes:  “Despite the really silly label on the card, this perk was not targeted at teens. This perk had a broad eligibility of anyone over 18 with a Klout score above 20. ”

Joe also points out that, in order to receive a Perk, you have to enter your birth date. The company uses this requirement to ensure it is accurately targeting its programs. He says that Klout has “changed [its] processes so nothing like this can happen again.”