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Some ethical issues of digital marketing towards children

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Information about Some ethical issues of digital marketing towards children
Marketing

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: gerdavandamme

Source: slideshare.net

Description

In our western culture, we are very idealistic about kids. Children are seen as society’s potential, and as beings that we want to protect, nurture and educate. On the other hand, kids have become big business. The combination of this and the fact that kids now are growing up digitally, raises ethical concerns around the way that kids are marketed through digital media. As regulation of broadcasting media develops further, marketeers seek proactively ways around regulation and find those online.
But there is a rise in the general public's expectations of ethical behavior from business, and this impacts also their buying choices.
This slidedeck is about some of these ethical concerns around digital content aimed at children.

Themes:
- Ad (un)awareness
- Vulnerability
- Obesity
- Screen addiction
- Violence
- Online safety
- Privacy
- Peer pressure
- Gender stereotyping
- Parental control (or lack of it)
The concept of GUILT and ‘compensation marketing’.
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Digital Marketing to Generation Z

Ethical issues of digital marketing towards children Gerda Van Damme (Dreammachine Kids) Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 2

The concerns AD AWARENESS UNCONTROLLED PRESENCE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS PESTER POWER age inappropriate content vulnerability obesity screen addiction UNRECOGNIZED PRODUCT PLACEMENT PRIVACY violence online safety lack of parental control UNCONTROLLED PURCHASE PEER PRESSURE Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 3

Ad (un)awareness • • • • • Kids develop ad awareness only over years (and as a next step they develop ‘banner blindness’). This means that for young kids ‘Advertising should be recognizable as such’ gets a new meaning. Advertising-free world doesn’t exist  solution in education about advertising. Studies have been done to detect how kids recognize ads between editiorial content parts. But what about content that is completely commercial? Nielsen, Children on the web (2010 – revised 2013): ad unawareness creates usability problems Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 4

Vulnerability • • • • Kids are more receptive to publicitary messages. They are an ‘easy target’. Especially in immersive experiences such as games, virtual worlds. More receptive to emotional messaging. Tendency towards impulsive buying behaviour. Very immersive experience from McDonald’s (Avatar) Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 5

Pester power • Parents hate it if kids come with very explicit ‘demands’ for things they found on the internet. E.g. Morrisons banned ad “They’re not open yet darling”. Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 6

Obesity • Strong lobby in US against (unhealthy) food advertising • Even a stronger issue in digital marketing, as digital media and screen addiction are held responsible for cases of obesity (unhealthy lifestyle). Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 7

Screen addiction • Parents prefer their children to live ‘unplugged’ experience, play outdoors, be creative, etc. • Constant struggle of parents to get their kids away from the screen (TV, mobile, computer,...). • Debate about the consequences of long term screen exposure and long term gaming. Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 8

Violence • Violence is highly accepted by the industry in digital media, especially in games • Debate about the effect on children Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 9

Online safety • • In general (not esp. within marketing context), people have concerns about the safety of kids going online. This is relevant within a digital marketing context, e.g. When brands create online kids communities. This has been an issue ever since the first chatrooms appeared on the internet. What Ketnet is doing: “Wanneer een kind zich inschrijft, moet hij eerst een KET-profiel aanmaken, met een foto en met de gegevens van de ouders. Pas na de formele goedkeuring van deze laatste krijgt het kind een volledig profiel dat hen toelaat vrienden toe te voegen of toe te treden tot de vriendenkring van andere kinderen. Hiervoor moet hij zowel zijn naam als voornaam gebruiken. Dezelfde vereiste is van toepassing als u commentaar wenst te geven op de artikels. Als iets gepubliceerd wordt en het kind het om welke reden dan ook niet meer kan terugvinden, kan hij op een vlagje klikken en aangeven waarom dat niet mogelijk is. Andere voorwaarde van beperkte toegang: een meerderjarig persoon kan geen kinderen toevoegen die jonger zijn dan 18 jaar. De presentatoren van Ketnet zijn in elk geval vrienden met elke kind dat een profiel heeft.” Sonia Livingstone: authority in the field, 16 publications, several requested by E.U. (‘’Kids Online’) Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 10

Privacy • Online identity of kids without their consent E.g. commercial photo contests with kids pictures • Undesirable contacts and spreading of contact data • This is quite well ‘covered’ in legislation (see Gerrit’s presentation). Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 11

Peer pressure • Digital advertising loves to use viral techniques. • Kids being used within testimonials towards other kids is NOT DONE, whether user generated or not. Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 12

Gender stereotyping • • • Lego news of girl complaining about gender stereotyping makes the news. Mattel producing Barbie on Mars and Lego producing female scientist is also world news. One of attention points of legislators Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 13

Parental control (or lack of it) • Parents feel they can’t ‘keep up with kids’. UK study 2013: Close to half of parents say that their child knows more about the internet than they do. Nearly half of all parents of a child aged 5-15 (47%) agree with the statement: “my child knows more about the internet than I do”. • Speed (always new games, new apps, new rules, new hypes).  Parents feel ‘out of control’. Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 14

The concept of GUILT and some tips • • ‘Guilty’ parents ‘Guilty’ advertisers (in the eyes of the parents) • ‘Guilt’ makes parents of today spend more than any other generations on their kids, especially in the area of digital products.  Your minimal option: stay away from what annoys parents  Leveraging the GUILT-feeling: ‘Compensation marketing’ – – – – Offer parents ways to make them feel less guilty Makes advertisers ‘look good’ Makes parents ‘feel good’ Compensate for perceived bad characteristics of the product or medium by offering ‘contradictory’ content (e.g. Fast food company giving healthy food tips)  trend! (‘helpful and human brands’). Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 15

Example of ‘compensation marketing’ • Offer them ‘unplugged’ experiences through digital media. In January 2011, UK based dairy company Arla Foods launched a campaign called Nature Adventure Club, aimed at encouraging children to explore the outdoors. A childfriendly website has been designed to let kids, parents and teachers explore the outdoor activities planned for 2011 and share their achievements on a ‘leadership board’. Dreammachine Kids | Rue Auguste Frison 56, 6040 Jumet (Charleroi) | +32 (0) 10 86 12 42 | www.dreammachine.be | 7.03.14 Dreammachine Kids presentation, p. 16

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