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In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) asked the agency which steps in intends to take to protect children’s privacy following several data hacks. In particular, the Senator enquired whethe...

A new report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) complained that technology companies producing devices and software used for education purposes in schools collect and store children’s names, birth dates, browsing histories, contact lis...

A study released by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut found that 85% of parents believe that companies should reduce advertising of unhealthy food to children. Two-thirds also agree that restrictions should ...

In a study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, scholars from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth found that pre-schoolers who were exposed to child-targeted fast-food commercials on TV were considerably more likely to consum...

A lawsuit filed on 4 January in California alleges that Coca-Cola and its trade group, the American Beverage Association, deceived and confused the public—including children—about science that links sugar-sweetened beverages to chronic il...

A new academic study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of Pediatrics finds that adolescents who spend more than five hours a day on screen devices (tablets, smartphone and computers) are 43% more likely to suffer from obesity compared w...

According to a study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity (University of Connecticut), fast-food chains, soda-makers and snack-vendors are increasingly targeting black teens and children.  The researchers analyzed Nielsen data which...

The Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET) has warned against gender stereotyping of toys ahead of Christmas amid concerns it could discourage girls from pursuing a career in engineering and technology. Research by the Institute ...

Privacy groups in the EU and the US have launched a campaign and started filing complaints to relevant national authorities against internet-connected dolls, which they believe violate children’s privacy. The combined advocacy effort was trigge...

A study (led by the The Stanford History Education Group and sponsored by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation) was conducted on 7,804 students from middle school through college to examine how teenagers evaluate information they find online. It is rep...

An experiment undertaken by the Giesel School of Medicine of Dartmouth College was recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, examining the relationship between advertising and snacking among young children. A representative sample of...

A Seattle-based Judge ordered Amazon to refund the parents of children who made in-app purchases on Kindle and Android devices without their consent between 2011 and 2014. This refund process will run for 12 months from January 2017. This judgement ...

A recent study published in the Journal Appetite revealed that families eating dinner with the TV on tend to eat less healthy food and to enjoy the meals less than families who leave the TV off. However, children of TV-watching families were not more...

A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that children exposed to food commercials are more likely to overeat, especially if they have a specific version of a gene linked to obesity. According to the authors, this kin...

In a study published this month in the journal Appetite, scholars from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth found that pre-schoolers who were exposed to high-sugar breakfast cereal (SBC) commercials ate more cereals than others. The authors rec...

On 21 October, the Center for Digital Democracy (CCD), Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and Public Citizen, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Google, Disney’s Maker Studios and three other companie...

The Walt Disney Company and Dole Food Company announced plans to launch a co-branded assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables featuring iconic Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel characters at grocery and retail stores in the US. The ...

Earlier this week, the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU), US advertising industry watchdog, issued an opinion requesting the popular ‘EvanTube channels’, featuring 10-year-old boy Evan "unboxing" and reviewing toys, to includ...

After a two year investigation, New York Attorney General announced on 13 September 2016 that Viacom, Mattel, JumpStart, and Hasbro's websites violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by allowing third-parties to collect ch...

New research published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) found that 65% of food products advertised on Nickleodeon were candy, sugary breakfast cereals and other foods of ‘poor nutritional quality’, compared to 88% i...

A study published in Childhood Obesity and conducted by the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found that marketers of products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) are deceiving children and parents by selling healthie...

A new academic study to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that food advertising may increase the way children value taste over health benefits when choosing food. The research also suggests that commercials could lead to more impul...

On 11 August, US Bakery-cafe chain Panera announced the launch of its “Kids Meal Promise”. The scheme includes a commitment to market its food responsibly without the use of cartoon characters, "crazy colors”, toys, or toy-shaped fo...

A new policy brief from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity shows that food advertising viewed by children decreased by 4% between 2014 and 2015, continuing a downward trend first observed from 2013 to 2014. According to the brief ...

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) launched a petition calling on game developer Niantic, Inc. to protect children from new deceptive forms of corporate marketing taking advantage of the popularity of Pokemon GO. The association accuses ...

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) launched a petition calling on game developer Niantic, Inc. to protect children from new deceptive forms of corporate marketing taking advantage of the popularity of Pokemon GO. The association accuses ...

On 11 July, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc. settled Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that the company misled consumers by failing to adequately disclose it paid online influential video games enthusiasts to advertise the video game Middle ...

Last week, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Chairwomen Edith Ramirez urging the FTC to work with Congress to increase the protection of children’s privacy from connected toys which can...

On 27 June, a Court of Appeals in Philadelphia dismissed a lawsuit against Google and Viacom, which claimed both companies had violated the privacy of children under 13 by using cookies to track their web browsing and video-watching habits on Viacom&...

In an academic study published in the Journal of Child Development, researchers from the Brigham Young University (Utah) examined the effects of exposure to the “princess culture” that revolves around Disney Princesses and found an associ...

In an academic study published today in the Journal Paediatrics, researchers from New York University Langone medical centre found that over 80% of the food products endorsed by celebrities scored as ‘nutrient poor’ based on the UK’...

The National Center for Education Policy at the University of Colorado has released its annual report which found that schools have become ‘soft targets’ for companies that gather data and market to children because of their eagernes...

A poll by the NGO Common Sense Media revealed that 59% of the 620 parents interviewed reported their teens aged 12 to 18 were addicted to their mobile devices while 50% of teens themselves recognised they feel addicted. The white paper accompanying t...

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that Amazon illegally charged parents for children's in-app purchases between 2011 and 2014 on its app store for Kindle and Android devices. With the ruling, the Court sided with the Federal Trade Commission (...

A group of global and national public health NGOs led by the US-based Center for Science in the Public Interest sent an open letter to the CEOs of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo and their investors urging them to “begin exercising their corporate respon...

An issue brief by Healthy Eating Research, a programme of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, denounces the use of brand and licensed characters to market “high-calorie and nutrient-poor food and beverage” products to children and calls o...

The Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), in partnership with the National Confectioners Association (NCA), announced a new self-regulatory initiative that promotes responsible advertising to children. Under the Children’s Confection Adve...

Last month, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a report calling on governments to “protect children by barring the advertising and sale of unhealthy food in schools and advertisements for sugar drinks in all media (in...

Two NGOs, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), wrote a letter to the National Football League (NFL) urging it to stop marketing its “Rush Fantasy” football game to childr...

Following concerns raised by Senator Al Franken, member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, Google clarified in a public letter that it does not use students’ personal information to serve targeted advertisements. ...

A study recently published in the academic journal ‘Obesity Reviews’ found that exposure to food advertising significantly influences eating behaviour and weight gain in both children and adults. Based on those findings, the authors ...

According to their first compliance report since the adoption of common uniform nutrition standards, the companies members of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) have improved children’s exposure to ads for hea...

On 17 December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced two COPPA settlements against operators of child-directed mobile apps available for download in major app stores. These are the first cases involving the collection of persis...

Last November, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved a new verifiable parental consent method under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) for websites and online services collecting children’s data. Compani...

TV commercials for children’s packaged foods and beverages frequently target parents by using themes of nutrition, health and an active lifestyle, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The research claims “targeting...

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) launched a social media campaign called "#HellnoBarbie" to denounce the new Internet-connected “Hello Barbie” doll. The CCFC claims the doll, available over the Chris...

According to the Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, snack food commercials make up more than 40% of all food and beverage TV ads viewed by children and teens and primarily promote candy, as well as sweet and savoury snacks. In thei...

According to an academic study expected to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the featuring of of toy premiums in adverts may prompt children to request eating at fast food restaurants. Children’s exposure to those adverts is therefore ...

Earlier this week, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) took the Senate floor to discuss the recent changes introduced by Google to increase parental control over the YouTube Kids application. The Senator said that the updates are a step in the right dir...

A recent academic study published online in the journal Appetite reveals that children see more advertisements for confectionery products today than prior to the launch of the industry’s pledge to restrict food marketing to children under the a...

Nickelodeon’s new research study entitled: “My Media, My Ads”, sheds new light on children age 6 to 13’s media usage and how they perceive advertising. Interestingly, the study finds that 8 in 10 parents say they do not mind a...

In August, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law the Delaware Online Privacy and Protection Act (DOPPA), which places restrictions on online marketing and advertising to children.  Unlike the federal Children’s Online Privacy Prot...

A study released on 11 August by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity reveals that food companies disproportionately target their TV advertising for fast food, candy, sugary drink and snack brands to black and Hispanic children and teens. For...

A new report by auditing firm PwC found that while most 8-to-18 year olds say streaming TV shows are their favourite type of programming, they are on average spending more time watching network TV (7.8 hours a week) and cable TV (6.2 hours) than stre...

On 3 August, non-profit food watchdog group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a report calling on non-food stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond to stop selling ‘unhealthy’ food at checkouts to avoid pester powe...

An academic study published online in the Journal of Consumer Psychology reveals that children are responsive to the apparent bodyweight of cartoon characters and tend to consume almost twice as much low-nutrition, high-calorie food such as cookies a...

According to a new survey from Miner & Co. Studio, 57% of children aged 2 to 12 years old now prefer to watch video on a handheld device rather than on TV. Mobile devices are so popular with kids that nearly half of the 800 parents living i...

On 16 June, Senate Democrat Bill Nelson sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page sharing his concerns over the YouTube Kids app following a complaint filed with the FTC last April by several advocacy groups. The groups accused the service of blurring t...

On 11 June, Senators J. Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Barton (R-Texas), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) reintroduced the “Do Not Track Kids” Act which aims to extend the provisions of the Children&rsq...

On 9 June, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a package of ordinances that would introduce mandatory health warnings on sugary drinks adverts. Billboards or other advertisements for sugary beverages would include this languag...

A study from Dartmouth College in the state of New Hampshire found that TV food commercials disproportionately stimulate the brains of teenagers with higher proportions of body fat - including the regions that control pleasure and taste - suggesting ...

Last week, confectionery company American Licorice Company announced that it was proud to join the 17 signatories of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) which have committed to restrict food advertising to child...

On 19 May, the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) supplementing their original complaint against YouTube Kids (see AEf Alert 08/04/15). The organisations c...

On 23 April, researchers from the University of Illinois published a study entitled: “Nutrition Recommendations and the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative’s 2014. Approved Food and Beverage Product List&rd...

On 27 April, users of the website Nick.com filed a brief with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals aiming to revive a lawsuit accusing Viacom and Google of violating privacy laws. According to the plaintiffs, Viacom violated users' video privacy rights b...

In their study entitled “First Exposure and Use of Mobile Media in Young Children”, researchers from the Philadelphia’s Einstein Medical Centre found that 36% of children have “touched or scrolled” the screen of a mobile...

On 14 April, Google announced the launch of a new programme called "Designed for Families," which will review apps and will label eligible ones on Google Play as family friendly. One of the conditions to earn the designation is to be free from intere...

In a study entitled: "Patterns of Energy Drink Advertising Over U.S. Television Networks", researchers from Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center (New Hampshire) claim that energy drink manufacturers primarily advertise on television channels ...

On 7 April, several consumer associations filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the recently launched YouTube for Kids (see AEf Alert 23/02/15) on the grounds that it breaches of Section 5 of the FTC Act which prohibits un...

On 10 March, a federal judge in California ruled that Facebook must face a nationwide class-action lawsuit over its refusal to provide refunds when children spend money on its website without parental permission. According to press reports, hundreds ...

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has launched a petition against the new Hello Barbie which sends recordings of children's voices across the internet for voice-recognition analysis. The group is worried that Mattel could use a chil...

Burger King has removed soft drinks from all children’s meals across the US, a move that was directly applauded by health campaigners. The default beverages in Burger King’s children’s menu will now include milk, chocolate milk, ap...

On 3 March, a distributor of digital content DEFY Media published its annual ACUMEN Report: Constant Content. The report, conducted in partnership with Hunter Qualitative and KnoWhy Research, aimed to uncover factors influencing Millennials&rsqu...

Fast food commercials aimed at children are in breach of industry self-regulatory standards through their emphasis on toy premiums instead of healthy food choices, researchers from New Hampshire claim in an article published in the March edition of t...

According to news reports, Google intends to announce on 23 February the launch of a new application called Youtube Kids. The child-friendly designed app will be separate from the YouTube mobile app and will most likely be available for free. Google ...

On 20 January, a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey dismissed the national wide privacy lawsuit against Google and Viacom accusing both companies of violating privacy of children under 13 by tracking their activities on Nickelodeon’s website. ...

During his annual State of the Union address, President Barack Obama highlighted the importance of children's privacy and cyber security. The President emphasised that "no foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, stea...

On 20 January, a panel of experts convened by “Healthy Eating Research” - a programme of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, published a series of recommendations to improve industry voluntary standards for food and beverage advertising t...

On 20 January, Common Sense Media released a report “Children, Teens, Media, and Body Image”, which examines the role of traditional and digital media in the development of children’s and teens' body image. According to the report, ...

On 7 January 2015, Republican Senator David Sater proposed a bill requiring the Department of Public Safety to establish the Missouri Child Protection Registry. This registry will include a secure list of contact points belonging or accessible to chi...

On 15 January, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) announced that the chain Wendy’s removed sugary soda from its children's menus and advertising. Organisations including CSPI have been urging Wendy’s to adopt such a poli...

On 9 January, Democrat Senators Edward J. Markey, Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal released a report entitled “Buzz Kill” in which they accuse energy drink companies of continuing marketing to adolescents despite progress made in elimin...

The Federal Trade Commission has warned China-based developer BabyBus that its app range that teaches letters, numbers and shapes to children from ages one to six may be in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule....

According to PrivacyGrade.org, a project run by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania), apps continue collecting personal data from children despite the solid legislative framework in place. Interestingly, their research rev...

On 4 December, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and some leading health advocates asked Tootsie Roll, the American Licorice Company, Haribo of America, Perfetti Van Melle and the Topps Company to stop marketing unhealthy foods to ...

On 3 December, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) released its 2013 annual report on Compliance and Progress. The 18 companies that participate in the advertising self-regulatory programme are “virtu...

The Yale Rudd Centre published on 19 November the second edition of their Sugary Drink FACTS 2014 (Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score series – f.a.c.t.s.), analysing progress made by manufacturers of beverages to reduce...

On 12 November, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) released a report entitled: "Parenting in the Digital Age: How parents weigh the potential benefits and harms of their children's technology use" which reveals that while the majority of ...

On 30 October, researchers from the Arizona State University published results of a study examining marketing targeting children on the interior and exterior of fast food restaurants and its relationship to demographics. According to the study’...

An academic study published in the October issue of the Journal Appetite and entitled: “Child as change agent. The potential of children to increase healthy food purchasing” found that parents are frustrated by the supermarket environment...

On 7 October, US think-tank the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association launched a Pledge signed by 14 companies to safeguard the privacy of pupils from kindergarten to primary school. The role of school servi...

On 16 September, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged Sunny Delight, Pizza Hut and Amazon to stop promoting unhealthy food and drinks at schools. The NGO called on the companies to set nutrition standards for food and beverages mark...

On 16 September, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged Sunny Delight, Pizza Hut and Amazon to stop promoting unhealthy food and drinks at schools. The NGO called on the companies to set nutrition standards for food and beverages mark...

On 16 September, online customer-review service Yelp announced having agreed to pay $450,000 to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle charges that the company accepted registration to its services from children under 13 through its apps. Acco...

On 3 September, a group of Congressional Democrats sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to strengthen its oversight of food and beverage companies and ensure that they are making progress on reducing unhealthy food marketing ...

In an academic article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on 27 August, researchers found that among federal policy options available, a policy banning fast food advertising to children under 12 would have the least impact on re...

Last week, New York City Democrat Councilman Ben Kallos introduced draft legislation that would set nutritional standards for fast-food restaurants to offer incentives such as toys or coupons with children’s meals. It would also ban restaurants...

Healthy Eating Research, a programme of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently released an issue brief exploring the marketing of children’s meals using toys and made some recommendations. The brief “Food Marketing: Using Toys to M...

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently updated its Frequently Asked Questions document to assist online operators as they work to comply with changes to the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection (“COPPA”) Rule that went ...

Online retailer Amazon.com is resisting a request by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to set stricter controls on in-app purchases made by children. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is facing a potential lawsuit by the FTC on the m...

In a study published in the Journal Appetite (‘Children's Knowledge of Packaged and Fast Food Brands and their BMI: Why the Relationship Matters for Policy Makers’), researchers found that preschool children’s brand knowledge and re...

In an analysis of 40 websites popular among children, researchers found the majority of them tracked user activity, which may violate the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). According to COPPA, website operators and mobile app devel...

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity has released a new brief updating its annual report on trends in TV food advertising to young people (“Trends in Television Food Advertising to Young People”). Documenting changes “i...

A draft bill introduced last week by Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) aims to tighten controls on student records and give parents the right to review and correct some of the information private companies hold on their children a...

In a press release published on 30 April, Google announced its decision to remove all Gmail messages ad scanning for Apps for Education service, a Google service which offers the company's cloud computing apps to schools and universities free of char...

A bill introduced end of March in the House by Republican representative Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida) and co-sponsored by two Democrat representatives asks the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to submit to Congress a report on the use in advertising ...

In an academic article released online on 31 March by the Journal “JAMA Pediatrics”, academics from Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) found that a large majority of children did not identify milk featuring in McDonald's and Burger King ch...

The National Education Policy Center, based in the University of Colorado, recently released its Sixteenth Annual Report on Schoolhouse Commercialism: 2012-2013 denouncing the impact of commercial influence over children in schools, and criticizing p...

According to news reports, the FTC has begun investigating tech companies suspected of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The COPPA law was revised last year and entered into force on 1 January 2014, but the FTC ga...

A federal judge in California dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit against Facebook, which sought to represent minors who used the social media website and had their names used in advertisements. At issue was Facebook's use of minors' name...

Disney is under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for potential breaches of children's online privacy laws. The site's new privacy policy, posted late last year says that Disney collects and uses “persistent identifiers,” lik...

The Federal Trade Commission and California Attorney General both claim that Facebook is misinterpreting how a children’s privacy law applies to teen privacy, in a move that could undercut the giant social network in a federal court case i...

A draft bill introduced in the State of Delaware Legislature on 18 March by Democrat representative D. Scott would require operators of a website, online service, online application, or mobile application directed to minors – or with “act...

A report recently released by the Yale Rudd Center (“Older but still vulnerable: All children need protection from unhealthy food marketing”) calls on signatories of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) to...

In a petition launched today already gathering over 2400 signatures, NGOs Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and Center for a New American Dream urge the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) to end a partnership with Mattel which promotes Barb...

On 25 February, First Lady Michelle Obama, together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced new standards for food and beverages marketed in schools, which will effectively ban the advertising of sugary drinks and other food on...

On 13 February, consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen filed a legal brief with a San Francisco Court to ask that a $20 million settlement made with Facebook be overturned, on the grounds that the social network violates privacy by using users...

In a research brief released on 28 January, family advocacy center Common Sense Media provides an inventory of the new techniques and methods being used to market to children and teens. The brief highlights where research is scarce, incomplete, or ou...

On 28 January, the Federal Trade Commission released an updated version of its 2009 consumer guide “Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online.” The revised booklet reflects changes in the online world and contains updated informat...

On 23 January, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Subway restaurants will team up with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to promote healthier choices to children. Subway has pledged to spend $41 million over three years to promote i...

On 31 December, the uniform nutrition criteria of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) came into force. These criteria define which products signatories can advertise to children under the age of 12. &ldquo...

The San Francisco city attorney and New York state attorney general have joined forces to investigate whether Monster Beverage Corporation advertises its highly caffeinated drinks to children. SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera had previously filed a l...

Academic research released in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that adults feel more positive about the nutritiousness of products advertised through brand characters such as Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger if those adults were exposed to the...

On 15 January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Apple has agreed to pay at least $32.5 million in refund to parents whose children were able to make purchases in Apple's App Store without the informed consent of their parents. The F...

In a editorial published on 13 January in JAMA Pediatrics, a group of researchers including Jennifer Harris from the Rudd Centerurge policy makers, school district leaders, and parents to take action against food marketing in schools as they find tha...

An academic study published in the December issue of the journal Childhood Obesity finds that self-regulation is ineffective, since the overall nutritional value of products advertised during children's programmes (≥35% child-audience share) is wo...

On 18 December, privacy advocates the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Disney’s subsidiary Marvelkids.com and Sanrio, - known for its Hello Kitty character - for violating the recently upd...

According to a poll carried out by the Yale Rudd Center in July 2013 among 902 parents of children aged two to 17 living at home, 70.6% believe that if children under 13 were permitted to create a Facebook account, advertisers should not be allowed t...

On 15 November, Facebook clarified its privacy policies for under 18’s following a joint letter sent by six US privacy organisations to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last September expressing concerns over its revised privacy policy. Chan...

On 14 November, Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.),  Joe Barton (R-Tex.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)  introduced a joint bill to extend, enhance and update the provisions relating to the collection, use and disclosure of children&...

A new report by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity entitled “Fast Food Facts 2013” recognizes the efforts made by fast food restaurants since 2009 but states that children and teens remain key audiences for the advertising...

Sesame Workshop, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), and the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) have teamed up to help make fruits and vegetables more fun for children. As part of its commitment to PHA, Sesame Workshop will license i...

On 28 October, Common Sense Media released "Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America 2013," the second edition of a national survey of children's media use in the United States. Most notable among the findings is the dramatic increase in childr...

In a policy statement released on 28 October in the Journal ‘Pediatrics’, the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) urge pediatricians to encourage the federal government to issue strong regulations to restrict “junk food” and ...

In an academic study to appear in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics, researchers from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity call on professional athletes to stop promoting "unhealthy" messages to children and young people. This...

Following a campaign urging Nickelodeon to stop licensing characters such as SpongeBob to “unhealthy products” (see AEf Alert 15/03/13), the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other consumer groups launched a s...

On 23 September, California Governor signed into law a bill which aims to increase children's online privacy protection. Importantly, the law requires all social networking sites to provide a delete button for minors as of 1 January 2015 and prohibit...

On 18 September, during a speech at the White House, first Lady Michelle Obama acknowledged the efforts of the industry’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) in limiting “unhealthy” food marke...

The FTC has announced that it is seeking public comment on a new verifiable consent method proposed under the Voluntary Commission Approval Process provision of the COPPA Rule. A US-based technology services company called Imperium, LLC submitte...

On 4 September, six US privacy organisations sent a joint letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and to members of Congress expressing concerns over Facebook’s new privacy policy which states that users under 18, in signing up to Facebook...

An academic study released on 28 August entitled "How Television Fast-Food Marketing Aimed at Children Compares with Adult Advertisements" finds that Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) do not respect their commitments to the Children’s Food a...

On 26 August, a US federal judge in California approved Facebook’s $20 million settlement for a class action lawsuit filed by several advocacy groups over its “Sponsored Stories” feature – commercial endorsements of a facebook...

Last week, Apple released updated guidelines for developers which ban targeted advertising in children’s apps and bring its policies in line with the new Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by disallowing d...

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by the Yale Rudd Center crticises the food and beverage industry for spending 'the bulk of its money' to promote ‘unhealthy’ products to children and teens, and calls on...

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking public comment on a proposed automated verifiable parental consent method submitted by US company AssertID for approval under the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) effect...

On 7 August, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (“CCFC”) requested the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against Fisher-Price and software developer Open Solutions for deceptively marketing their mobile applications ...

On 10 July, Republican congressman John J. Duncan of Tennessee introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives which aims to ban social media sites from intentionally or knowingly using the faces of underage users for commercial purposes. The F...

On 8 July, during a panel discussion held in Washington on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s update of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), FTC representatives said that the Commission was planning to give additional guidance...

An article published online on 2 July by the Journal Pediatric Obesity found that the 16 signatories of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) were less likely to advertise products that met the draft nutrition standards of t...

Amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) go into effect on 1 July. The new rule greatly expands what kind of data requires verified parental consent before being collected from a child under 13, including...

Research by the Wall Street Journal released on 27 June found that 28 out of 40 free popular child-targeted apps sent data to other companies that provide analytics services tracking the ways people use particular apps. The WSJ concludes that three ...

On 18 June, during its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association adopted a policy supporting a ban on the marketing of energy drinks to people under 18, saying the high-caffeine beverages could cause heart problems and other health ...

On 10 June, US Democrats Senators Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut), Jay Rockefeller (West Virginia), Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Dick Durbin (Illinois) sent a letter to Nickelodeon and its parent company Viacom requesting that the children’s entertai...

Most US parents fail to regulate and monitor their child’s online behaviour, according to a survey conducted by McAfee from 3 to 15 April and released on 4 June. The study reveals, among other things, that most US tweens between 10 and 12 years...

A survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society found that while teens are disclosing more personal information on social media, the vast majority are actively taking steps to protect their priva...

On May 15, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it sent educational letters to over 90 businesses that appear to collect personal information from children under the age of 13, reminding them of the impending July 1 deadline for complian...

A new study entitled “Relation of Obesity to Neural Activation in Response to Food Commercials” was published in the latest issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience in April 2013. The research analyses how advertising affects...

On 6 May, in a letter to five business groups, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Application Developers Alliance, the Federal Trade Commission said that it will not delay the implementation of the new Children's Online Privac...

An academic paper published on 2 May by the Journal of Health Communication says the industry-led Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) is ineffective, as 84% of the foods promoted to children on Spanish-language channels ...

On 25 March, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a 38-page guidance document of “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) based on amended rules that go into effect on 1 ...

In a letter sent to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Edith Ramirez on 23 April, nearly 20 privacy and children’s advocacy groups wrote that delaying the enforcement of the revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), as requ...

A bill introduced by California State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) aims at regulating privacy on social networking websites by enabling parents or legal guardians of children under 18 residing in California to request their child’s inf...

In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman on 15 April, the Application Developers Alliance says developers and publishers need more time to adapt to the revised Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), scheduled to come...

On 25 March, the Senate of the State of Maryland passed a bill to protect children's personal data online. The original proposal, introduced on 25 January by Democrat Senator John C. Astle, aimed to prohibit the use of children's personal information...

In a report released on 18 March, the Yale Rudd Center found that preschoolers see an average of more than 11 food adverts per day, despite food companies' commitment not to advertise to children under 5. One out of ten of those adverts appear on jus...

On 13 March, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other consumer groups launched a campaign urging Nickelodeon to stop licensing characters such as SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer to “unhealthy products”. Th...

A study released on 12 March by the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity recommends Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) signatories to increase the number of programmes covered by their self-regulatory pledges....

A draft bill introduced by Democrat California Assemblywoman Nora Campos in February 2013 would require websites or online services that collect information about under 18 years old residing in California to share this information with their parents,...

On 8 March, research center “The Public Health Advocacy Institute” (PHAI)* published a legal issue brief designed to help State Attorneys General and stakeholders in children’s health and privacy challenge digital viral food marketi...

A review published by nonprofit organisation Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) in February 2013 found that despite some progress to improve the foods marketed to American youths at home, in schools and in restaurants, children and young people are ...

A study released on 19 February by the Journal of Health Communication found that cereal companies, the third biggest food marketer to children, use “sophisticated online marketing techniques” to target children with “unhealthy&rdqu...

On 1 February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an agreement to a $800,000 settlement with Path Inc., a maker of a popular social networking app, over charges that it breached the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rul...

In a letter to Disney CEO Robert Iger, US Representative Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has raised privacy concerns about plans to introduce electronic bands in Disney theme parks. The MyMagic+ bracelets will hold credit card information ...

On 17 December, nonprofit group the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), claiming a SpongeBob app violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting chil...

At the end of December 2012, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released “A Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents” revealing that food and beverage companies spent less on marketing targeted to children and teenagers age...

On 19 December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unveiled new rules strengthening children’s online and mobile privacy. The changes made to the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) roughly follow those proposed by the F...

On 13 December, a broad coalition of nearly 60 organisations advocating for children, health, parents, privacy, and consumers wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to take into account recent advances in technology and new online mark...

On 10 December, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the launch of a non-public investigation to determine whether certain entities in the mobile app marketplace are violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) or enga...

A survey of over 2000 adults finds overwhelming support for the basic principles of the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). A large majority of respondents in the survey (90%) expressed support for COPPA’s basic requireme...

On 3 December, the Food Marketing Workgroup, which represents more than 55 health groups and 30 experts, called on Nickelodeon and parent company Viacom to join the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), an industry self-r...

A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics finds that obese children are more vulnerable to food advertising. The study uses neuroimaging to study the effects of food logos on 10 healthy weight and 10 obese children, aged between 10 and 14. Chil...

Food and Water Watch, a Washington-based NGO and consumer rights group, published a report in November in which it calls for stricter regulations to food and beverage advertising to children. The report also features of the current federal regulation...

According to the results of a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life (”Pew Internet Center”), 81% of teens’ parents say they are concerned about how much information advertisers can be learned abo...

The Robert Wood Johnson  Foundation (RWJF) and the American Heart Foundation (AHA) announced on 15 November a new joint initiative to reverse USA’s childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. This collaboration between two of the most prominent as...

On Friday 16 November, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, proposed that the US Congress end all tax deductions associated with the marketing of unhealthy food to children, and said this proposal should be part of the final plan to avo...

Regulators will likely finish a long-awaited update to rules protecting children's online privacy by the end of the year, the head of the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday. Speaking at the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Conference in Washin...

In an open letter sent on 29 November to the Walt Disney Company’s Chairman, consumer advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urges the company to stop allowing the use of its licensed characters on holiday treats &l...

A report presented on 29 October during the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco by the Yale Rudd Center for food policy and obesity found broad support among parents for limiting unhealthy food marketing to...

Cereals advertised to children contain more whole grains and key nutrients, and less sugar, calories and sodium than before, according to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), the industry advertising self-regulation ...

On 22 October, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released nonbinding privacy protection guidelines for companies using facial recognition technology, such as operators of social networking sites and mobile apps developers. The guidelines outline bes...

According to the Washington Post, McDonald’s said in a statement on 20 October that social networking features were removed from its online games in response to a complaint put forward to the FTC by a coalition of children’s advocacy, hea...

On 3 October, FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez announced that Artist Arena, the operator of fan sites for musicians Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Demi Lovato, agreed to pay a $1 million fine for illegally collecting information of 100 000 users under the...

In comments sent recently to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), social networking site Facebook asked the Federal agency to soften its proposal for a revision of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Facebook asks the FTC to c...

A study conducted at the University of Missouri-Kansas City found that children – and especially obese children - are more likely to choose foods with familiar logos. Scanners looked at the brain’s activity of 32 children aged 10 to 14 (...

On 12 September, Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.) released a proposal which would require mobile phone companies to disclose the presence of a monitoring software on a phone, the type and use of information collected, whom the information is transm...

On 5 September, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a set of basic guidelines to help mobile application (“apps”) developers comply with the relevant legislation. The guide, entitled “Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right...

In an article published online by the Public Health Nutrition Journal, authors found that companies actively target children through the use of sports figures on food and beverage products and that most of these products are “unhealthy”. ...

A coalition of children’s advocacy, health and public interest groups* plans to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this Wednesday against several children’s websites** on grounds that they violate the Children’s...

On 1 August, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed revisions to the 2000 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Importantly, the FTC proposes to extend the application of COPPA to third parties collecting personal data (including thr...

On 18 July, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) denounced the use of Madagascar 3 characters by companies marketing “nutrition-poor foods” and which are not Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI...

An academic article by K. Montgomery and J. Chester entitled: “The New Threat of Digital Marketing” calls for the development of safeguards through a combination of policy and self-regulatory activities addressing concerns raised by the u...

On 27 June, a mobile applications developer sued by the State of New Jersey agreed to stop collecting and transmitting all children’s data who play its popular educational games and to destroy what it has already collected. New Jersey's attorn...

A report released on 26 June by family advocacy center Common Sense Media entitled “Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives” found that nine out of ten teenagers in the US have used social media and that while the ma...

On 20 June, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and 10 other consumer organisations and advocacy centres*, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting immediate action against the use of Madagascar 3-themed by Merck & ...

On 22 June, the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University issued the second edition of “Cereal FACTS”, a report that looks at marketing practices of breakfast cereal manufacturers. Three years after its first edition, ...

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sent a letter to Nestlé USA CEO Brad Alford denouncing the company’s partnership with “the Girl Scouts of USA”. The letter claims Nestlé is  breach of its pledg...

On 18 May, an alliance of consumer and child privacy advocates sent a letter pressing Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to beef up privacy and marketing safeguards for children if it goes forward with plans to allow children under 13 to u...

Among the new features being tested is the possibility to connect children’s accounts to their parents’ to allow them to control some of the network’s key features, including friends and applications. Parents would also be charged f...

On 6 June, The Council of Better Business Bureau (BBB) published Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI)’s “2012 Snapshot” showing that food and beverage advertising accounted for less than a quarter of the...

Walt Disney Co. announced in a press release on 5 May that it will become the first major media company to restrict advertising of certain food and beverages on the company’s child-focused TV channels (Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior),...

A survey conducted by US market research firm NPD Group entitled: “Kids and Apps: A New Era of Play” suggests that 42% of children in the US aged 2 to 14 have access to applications on mobile devices (apps), with 88% of those apps being a...

The Yale Rudd Center annual Report entitled “Trends in Television Food Advertising to Young People: 2011 Update” released in May 2012 found a 5% decline in total food and beverage advertising seen by children in the US between 2010 and 20...

On 4 April, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against McDonald’s which aimed to prohibit the use of toy giveaways in “Happy Meals” marketed directly to children.  Court documents did not detail the legal reasoning of Superior...

On 29 March, the American Academy of Pediatrics and NGO Children Now sent a joint letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jo Leibowitz urging the FTC to take action against “junk food” advertising to children and to issue a fina...

On 27 March, RockYou, Inc., an operator of a social game site, agreed to pay a $250,000 civil penalty for its alleged multiple violations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). FTC accus...

In February 2012, US social marketing agency EnviroMedia launched Leanwashingindex.com, a website allowing consumers to post, comment and rate health claims in marketing. EnviroMedia is responsible for creating the Greenwashing index – assessin...

In a report entitled “Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures are Disappointing” released on 16 February, the Federal Trade Commission highlights the lack of information available to parents prior to downloading mobile applicati...

An article published in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health entitled: “Protecting Young People From Junk Food Advertising: Implications of Psychological Research for First Amendment Law” claims that a proper interpr...

On 2 February, non-profit organisation California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) launched “Kick The Can”, a comprehensive database for beverage advocacy campaigns. Visitors to the website are invited to sign a petition calling...

A group of gender equality activists launched a petition asking LEGO Group CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp to “Go back to advertising and offering all LEGO to boys and girls!“ A girl-themed LEGO brand called “LEGO Friends” wa...

A study which will appear in the February 2012 issue of the Journal of Children and Media calls for restrictions on companies’ use of advergames which market “nutritionally poor foods to children”. The authors highlight two “...

According to a study on “The role of digital in the Toy shopper’s journey” aiming to better understand how consumers shop for toys and the role that digital media play in the buying process, Google found that 67% of all toy sales in...

On 23 December, a coalition of public interest groups and privacy advocates including the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children Now, the Benton Foundation and World Privacy Forum, and the Consumer Feder...

According to amendments to the 2012 spending bill adopted on 16 December in the House and on 17 December in the Senate, the US Congress will require the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on food marketed to children to conduct a cost-ben...

On 13 December, US NGO the Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Webkinz World and its owner Ganz for alleged deceptive and unfair trade practices. According to CCFC, the website, pop...

On 14 December, the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) published a report on the results of over five years of implementation of the self-regulatory programme. The report notes the signatories’ excellent complianc...

On 8 December,  the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) published a list of the most heavily advertised toys on 5 children’s channels during the “Black Friday” week. The list is called “The Nagging nine”...

An industry-funded report entitled: “Children’s use of mobile phones — An international comparison 2011” released in November surveyed mobile phone use of eight to 18 year old children, comparing four geographically widespread...

The Federal Trade Commission settled charges on Tuesday against a website accused of collecting personal information from roughly 5,600 children without parental consent in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The...

A study entitled “Why parents help their children lie to Facebook about age: Unintended consequences of the 'Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)” found that parents knowingly allow their children to lie about their age and of...

On 31 October, the Yale Rudd Center for Food and Obesity Policy published a new edition of their Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score series (f.a.c.t.s.) entitled “Evaluating sugary nutrition and marketing to youth”. The authors f...

Younger children still watch a lot of television, but mobile devices and the internet have taken over TV as adolescents’ favourite media, according to two reports published on 25 October in the US (by nonprofit organisation Common Sense Media) ...

On 17 October, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement entitled “Media Use by Children Younger Than Two Years” stating that it is against the use of media* for children under 2.  The article re...

On 19 October, the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) announced that consumer groups* have filed a complaint  with the Federal Trade Commission against PepsiCo/Frito-Lays urging it to take action and prevent future similar deceptive advertising ...

A representative from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amended parts of the Interagency Working Group’s (IWG) proposal for nutrition standards for food marketed to children during a House hearing on 12 October. David Vladeck, Director o...

In the September issue of the Journal of Advertising Research, an article analysed the distinctive characters of food-related advergames on two different types of children-oriented websites: for-profit organisations and non-profit organisations. Res...

The American Heart Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Berkeley Media Studies Group, Center for Digital Democracy, Prevention Institute, Shape Up America and Trust for America’s Health have sponsored an advert&nb...

Children as young as three years old are “clearly influenced” by fast food TV advertising, a study to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics found. The authors of the study, entitled “Advertising Influences on Young Children's Fo...

On 21 September, the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) – a legal research centre for public health – published research examining the US states' consumer protection laws prohibiting unfair, deceptive or unconscionable* sales and mar...

On 27 September, seventy-five experts in nutrition, marketing, medicine and public health wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to ensure that the Interagency Working Group (IWG) completes its work and issues a strong set of marketing guidelin...

On 15 September, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed revisions to the 2000 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Discarding calls for an increase in its age threshold (see AEF Alert 09/05/11), the new rules  would ma...

Five years after the publication by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of their landmark report on “Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?” calling for industry action, the IOM commissioned a literature review to assess...

In the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Children and Media, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health explore the notion of "The Nag Factor," defined as the "tendency of children, who are bombarded with marketers' mes...

On 15 August, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first settlement against a mobile application (app) developer, fining the company for failing to obtain parental consent before collecting and processing personal information from thou...

Food and beverage industry self-regulatory pledges contain a loophole allowing product placement to reach large children audiences during prime-time TV, according to a Yale Rudd Center press release published on 2 August. A study led by Jennifer Har...

A study published online by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine on 1 August found that children are exposed to fewer “unhealthy” food and beverage ads since the introduction of the implementation of the Children’s Foo...

On 14 July, a group of the United States' largest food companies, members of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), announced they have agreed to follow common nutrition criteria for foods advertised to children. The CFBAI,...

On 6 July, the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity published a report revealing a “dramatic increase” in children and adolescents’ total exposure to TV food marketing in the US between 2008 and 2010, despite the signature i...

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, television coverage of childhood obesity is less likely than print media to focus on the role of the food and beverage industry. TV networks, on the other hand, more often mention solution...

“Sufficient evidence exists to warrant a ban on junk-food advertising in children’s TV programming”, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)*. The statement, entitled “Children, Adoles...

Last week, Jack in the Box, the fifth largest US hamburger chain restaurant, decided to stop giving away toys with its children's meals. The announcement was made in conjunction with the introduction of “Chiquita Apple Bites” as an addit...

On 21 June, following its annual meeting, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced in a Press Release the adoption of a new policy to “discourage the altering of photographs in a manner that could promote unrealistic expectations of app...

On 15 June, Democrat Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal introduced the Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 (the “Act”), to regulate the collection and processing of location data on smartphones. The Act suggests prohibiting th...

On 7 June 2011, Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib, member of the Democratic party, introduced a proposal  to amend the Michigan “Food law of 2000” to require specific nutrition standards for restaurant meals offer...

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, told CNN Money he wishes to open up his social networking site to children under 13. Currently, the site’s policy aims to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the ...

On 6 May, the Florida legislature adopted a bill which, among other things, aims to prevent cities and local counties from regulating the nutritional content and marketing of food sold in restaurants. The provision was inserted into a bill on &ldquo...

Facebook has updated its internal promotions guidelines, a set of principles governing the use of the popular social networking site by marketers to do promotions, sweepstakes and contests. These promotions are now open to users under 18. Until now,...

In a letter published in several mass-circulation US daily newspapers*, over 550 health professionals and representatives of health institutions called on the CEO of McDonald’s CEO, Jim Skimmer, to “retire” their spokesperson Ronald...

On 12 May, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced having reached a settlement with Playdom Inc., an operator of numerous online virtual worlds, over charges that they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule by il...

A study by Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity to be published in the July issue of the Journal of Economics and Human Biology finds that soft drink and fast food television advertising is associated with increased consu...

On 6 May, Rep. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican published a “discussion draft” laying down the main points of a forthcoming proposal for a “Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011″ whic...

A Pennsylvania father has filed a lawsuit against Apple for allowing in-app purchases in free iPhone games, which he claims allowed children to spend real-world money without even knowing it. Filed by Garen Meguerian of Phoenixville, PA, on behalf o...

On 3 May 2011, an American citizen filed a civil suit against social networking site Facebook for letting children “Like” brands without getting permission from the parents or guardians. Since November 2007, Facebook allows users to clic...

On 28 April, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)* and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) published the results of new research on food and beverage advertising to children, revealing significant decrease in the amount of ads seen b...

A report published in April by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the research published between January 2008 and February 2011 on food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents. It aims to assess, among other things, industry self-...

On 28 April, a US Inter-Agency Working Group (IWG) published a draft of long-awaited nutritional standards entitled “Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts”. This development follows mounting f...

On 6 April 2011, the Senate of Arizona approved in third reading a bill preventing any local government from imposing restrictions on giveaway toys associated with a meal in a restaurant or convenience store (see AEF Alert 18/02/11). The “prev...

On 5 April 2011, New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban toys in fast food meals unless the menu meets certain nutritional requirements. The nutritional standards would require that meals have le...

A report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on 28 March 2011 looks at “the impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families” and finds that the lack of understanding of online privacy issues and the influen...

This week, bills allowing ads to appear on school buses were discussed in the US States of Idaho and Florida. In Florida, the Senate Education panel gave its green light to Bill SB 1124, sponsored by Democrat Senator Bill Montford, which would allow...

A study carried out by researchers of the University of Pennsylvania and published in the March 2011 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reveals that young children like a cerealmore if they see a popular media character on the ...

On 16 February 2011, the Commerce Committee of the Arizona House voted to prevent any local government from imposing restrictions on giveaway toys associated with a meal in a restaurant or convenience store. A strike-everything amendment* to Title 4...

On 4 February, a proposal to restrict marketing practices of high-calorie childrens’ meals was presented to the Nebraska Senate’s Agriculture Committee (see AEF Alert 2 February 2011). The proposal was rejected unanimously by the eight Co...

On 14 January 2011, the international research journal ‘Appetite’, specialising in behavioural nutrition, published an article examining the link between children’s food preferences and their knowledge of food brands and experiences...

On 1 February, Nebraska Senator Bill Avery formally introduced a draft bill in the legislative Committee for Agriculture to the State Senate that would prevent restaurants and convenience stores from promoting their least nutritious meals with media ...

On 25 January 2011, US Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat, Iowa) reintroduced the Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention (HeLP) America Act, which proposes a comprehensive package of measures aiming to promote healthy lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases.&...