Sneaky Ways Advertisers Target Kids
More than ever before, advertising and entertainment are inextricably linked.
Caroline Knorr Senior Parenting Editor | Mom of one2/7/2014Categories: Marketing to Kids
Senior Parenting Editor | Mom of oneYou might think you're hip to the tricks that advertisers use to reach kids online. You've seen the ads that play before online games. You know about the flashing banner ads, the contests, the sweepstakes, and even the sponsored Google links that match your search terms. But as technology advances -- and kids gravitate toward new programs and digital devices -- advertisers have found sneakier ways to capture kids' attention.
So how are your kids being targeted?
Advertisers know that the earlier a child learns about a brand, the more likely they will be to buy it later (or beg their parents to buy it). And children under 7 can’t tell the difference between advertising and entertainment. Helping kids understand how advertising works can help protect them from being exploited. (Visit Admongo, the FTC's ad-education site, for more ways to help kids get ad-savvy.)
Also, talk to your kid about protecting his or her online privacy. Kids give advertisers lots of information just by downloading an app or clicking on a sweepstakes. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare are conjuring up ways to make money off the behavioral data they can collect on kids. While you can't protect your kid from preying advertisers entirely, you can help them limit their privacy vulnerabilities -- and cultivate a healthy sense of skepticism toward advertising.
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