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Half of the 11- and 12-year-olds have a social media profile, despite most platforms’ minimum age being 13, according to a new report by UK broadcast authority Ofcom. In the UK, 28% of 10-year-olds, 46% of 11-year-olds and 51% of 12-year-olds ...

The Government of the Community of Valencia has launched a campaign against toys which encourage gender stereotypes called: “El joguet no té gènere"”. It calls on parents and the industry to stop contributing to gender stere...

Research published in independent media outlet Conversation claims that voluntary advertising codes regulating the marketing of fast food to children fail to protect them from “being manipulated by innovative online marketing, especially in soc...

In a study published in the journal Appetite earlier this year, the author from the National Institute for Consumer Research finds that children in Norway are exposed to little advertising for ‘unhealthy’ food products compared to other W...

A survey carried out by Comres for BBC's children's news programme 'Newsround' found that 78% of 10-12 year olds in the UK have at least one social media account, although many networks require users to be 13 or older to join. The poll was initiatie...

Food and beverage companies continue promoting “unhealthy” food and beverage products to children and adolescents on digital media, effectively circumventing industry self-regulatory standards, a new academic paper published in the Health...

On 9 January, children’s charity NSPCC released a new campaign on children’s online safety. “Share Aware” is backed by a review of 511 parents of 48 social networking sites (SNS) and apps used by young people, which found that...

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 2 September, research network EU Kids Online released a report with recommendations to improve children’s online safety. The report highlights that self-regulation, with oversight by governmental bodies and the EC, remains the primary means ...

On 26 June, EU Kids Online, a research network focusing on children’s safety on the Internet, presented the findings of its latest research project at a meeting of the CEO coalition. The organisation’s representative, Sonia Livingstone, p...

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...

On 25 February, the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) – the co-regulatory body in charge of writing and maintaining the UK Advertising Codes – and the advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – the self-regulatory organisation o...

In a study presented on 17 October at the Annual Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society, the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute found that food companies use websites, apps and social media to target children, effectively circu...

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 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...

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...

A new ASA survey commissioned suggests that the majority of young people are registering on sites using false ages. The original aim of the research was to understand better what ads children see when they use social media. It shows that advertisers...

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...

Claire Perry, a Conservative MP serving as David Cameron’s adviser on childhood, has called for privacy legislation to be revised in order to allow parents to monitor their children’s internet and mobile communications. Appointed last mo...

At the end of December 2012, the UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) released a review of the use of children under 16 as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing, which concludes that banning such techniques would not be propor...

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...

A report by British Broadcasting Authority Ofcom released on 23 October entitled “Children and Parents, Media Use and Attitudes Report” reveals the increasing role of the internet in children’s lives. For the first time, 12-15 year...

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...

In report released on 27 September by IASO (the International Association for the Study of Obesity) entitled “A Junk‐Free Childhood 2012: Marketing foods and beverages to children in Europe”, author Tim Lobstein criticizes the leeway le...

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...

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 6 June, Quebec-based organisation “Weight Coalition” (“Coalition Poids”) issued a report urging the federal and provincial governments to introduce regulation against the “invasive” marketing of sugary drinks to...

The European Parliament (EP) recently published a draft report on “vulnerable consumers” deploring the advertising of food high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) to children and young people. The draft report was prepared by Spanish Socialis...

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...

On 9 February, non-profit organisation the Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) announced in a press release that it was filing 54 separate complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the British advertising watchdog, against food compan...

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...

In a new report published on 3 November looking at the UK social network market size, research firm Mintel found that half of all children aged 7-12 visit social networking websites and that nearly 1 million of children go on Facebook ‘every da...

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...

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 30 September, the European Commission published the second part of its report on the implementation of the "Safer Social Networking Principles”, an agreement signed in 2009 between the European Commission and 21 social networking sites to gu...

On 4 July 2011, a survey commissioned by the French data protection authority (CNIL), the family organisation UNAF, and children’s protection group Action innocence found that nearly 20% of children under 13 are registered to a social network, ...

The UK National Heart Forum (NHF)* published a report analysing the regulatory and voluntary environment of food and drink marketing to children in order to identify current gaps and opportunities for action. The report found that current codes and ...

On 21 June, the European Commission published a report on the implementation of the "Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU. The report summarizes the findings of a test carried out on 14 social networking websites (SNS)* between December 2010...

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 ...

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,...

A survey of 2,089 online households conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center found that 20 million minors actively used Facebook in the past year - 7.5 million were under 13 years old, circumventing the social network’s policy...

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, 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 18 March, EU Kids Online published results of a survey revealing that 77% of European children have a profile on a social networking website, while one in five under 13 manage to circumvent Facebook’s age restriction. Some 77% of children 1...

On 11 April, the UK Department of Education published the results of a survey revealing that direct advertising through mobile phones was the marketing tool that the highest proportion of parents — 35% — believed was wrong. This was follo...




Today AEf is publishing a comprehensive literature review on digital marketing communications and children, prepared by Dr Barbie Clarke, of Family Kids and Youth and Cambridge University. The first of its kind, this literature review sheds light on ...




The Federal Trade Commission's proposed revisions of the rules that implement the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is well-meaning and well-timed. It's well-meaning in that the FTC truly does care about the privacy and safet...

For a Web company, it's best to just not deal with kids. They don't have much money -- no credit card accounts, as a rule -- and they're a toxic mess when it comes to regulations. Who wants to deal with changing COPPA regulations and the ex...

Celina McPhail's mom wouldn't let her have a Facebook account. The 12-year-old is on Instagram instead. Her mother, Maria McPhail, agreed to let her download the app onto her iPod Touch, because she thought she was fostering an interest in photograp...