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Click here, kids! Advertising practices on popular children's Web sites
Unformatted Document Text:  Advertising on Children’s Web Sites 13 maximize the possibility of including each unique ad on a Web site as well as maintaining the feasibility of coding, the authors decided to: (a) Code all ads that appear on the homepage of a Web site; (b) click on all major links on a Web site’s homepage, code all the ads that appear on the very first pages the links lead to; (c) reload each page five times and code all unique ads that appear on the same location; (d) click on each ad and code the very first page that the ad leads to; (e) include only unique ads in the coding for any given Web site. The authors also browsed through each Web site and ad Web site to see if any personal information was being solicited. Variables examined There were two units of analysis in this content analysis: a Web site and an ad. For each Web site, the authors examined the following variables: (a) if there is a link to Web site’s privacy policy on the homepage; (b) if there is a link to privacy policy, does that link only appear on the bottom of the page; (c) if the link to privacy policy is larger and distinguishable; (d) if the Web site is certified as a safe site for children 5 ; (e) if the Web site collects personal information from children. Besides the above variables, the authors also counted the number of pop-up ads or interstitials and the number of ad positions on the homepage. For each individual advertisement on a Web site, the following variables were coded: Graphic features of an ad: Four categories were developed. An ad could be still and graphical, still and pure textual, dynamic and graphical, and dynamic and pure textual. A fifth category, “other,” was added as well. 5 It refers to the presence of any seal of approval from non-profit watchdog groups, such as TRUSTe.

Authors: Cai, Xiaomei. and Markiewicz, Kristin.
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Advertising on Children’s Web Sites 13
maximize the possibility of including each unique ad on a Web site as well as
maintaining the feasibility of coding, the authors decided to: (a) Code all ads that appear
on the homepage of a Web site; (b) click on all major links on a Web site’s homepage,
code all the ads that appear on the very first pages the links lead to; (c) reload each page
five times and code all unique ads that appear on the same location; (d) click on each ad
and code the very first page that the ad leads to; (e) include only unique ads in the coding
for any given Web site. The authors also browsed through each Web site and ad Web site
to see if any personal information was being solicited.
Variables examined
There were two units of analysis in this content analysis: a Web site and an ad.
For each Web site, the authors examined the following variables: (a) if there is a
link to Web site’s privacy policy on the homepage; (b) if there is a link to privacy policy,
does that link only appear on the bottom of the page; (c) if the link to privacy policy is
larger and distinguishable; (d) if the Web site is certified as a safe site for children
5
; (e) if
the Web site collects personal information from children. Besides the above variables, the
authors also counted the number of pop-up ads or interstitials and the number of ad
positions on the homepage.
For each individual advertisement on a Web site, the following variables were
coded:
Graphic features of an ad: Four categories were developed. An ad could be still
and graphical, still and pure textual, dynamic and graphical, and dynamic and pure
textual. A fifth category, “other,” was added as well.
5
It refers to the presence of any seal of approval from non-profit watchdog groups, such as TRUSTe.


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