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Click here, kids! Advertising practices on popular children's Web sites
Unformatted Document Text:  Advertising on Children’s Web Sites 3 feature, its content, the Web page it leads to, and its relation to its host Web site. It will also assess how the ad features interact with some features of the host Web sites. Literature Review The fundamental concern about advertising to children revolves around the question of fairness (Kunkel, 2001). With less world knowledge and fewer experiences than adults, children commonly fail to understand the meaning, the intent, or the significance of advertising messages. Distinction between advertisements and content Young children cannot distinguish between advertisements and content of programs or Web sites. Research on television demonstrates that children under the age of five do not consistently differentiate between commercials and programs (Oates, Blades, & Gunter, 2002; Palmer & McDowell, 1979; Ward, Reale, & Levinson, 1972). Kunkel (1988) found that 95 percent of three to five year olds were not able to identify a commercial and only a third of them recognized that commercials were not part of the story line of the programs they watched. The World Wide Web presents even greater challenges for children. First, the Web simultaneously presents advertisements and content. On television, young children are able to rely on simple cues to distinguish between commercials and programs (John, 1999). Separators or bumpers are commonly employed in television programs aimed at children. By hearing sentences like “The Captain will return after this message,” children were able to distinguish commercials and programs (Butter, Popovich, Stackhouse, & Garner, 1981). Children also utilized simple perceptual cues such as “commercials are short” to tell the difference between the two (Palmer & McDowell, 1979). None of these

Authors: Cai, Xiaomei. and Markiewicz, Kristin.
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Advertising on Children’s Web Sites 3
feature, its content, the Web page it leads to, and its relation to its host Web site. It will
also assess how the ad features interact with some features of the host Web sites.
Literature Review
The fundamental concern about advertising to children revolves around the
question of fairness (Kunkel, 2001). With less world knowledge and fewer experiences
than adults, children commonly fail to understand the meaning, the intent, or the
significance of advertising messages.
Distinction between advertisements and content
Young children cannot distinguish between advertisements and content of
programs or Web sites. Research on television demonstrates that children under the age
of five do not consistently differentiate between commercials and programs (Oates,
Blades, & Gunter, 2002; Palmer & McDowell, 1979; Ward, Reale, & Levinson, 1972).
Kunkel (1988) found that 95 percent of three to five year olds were not able to identify a
commercial and only a third of them recognized that commercials were not part of the
story line of the programs they watched.
The World Wide Web presents even greater challenges for children. First, the
Web simultaneously presents advertisements and content. On television, young children
are able to rely on simple cues to distinguish between commercials and programs (John,
1999). Separators or bumpers are commonly employed in television programs aimed at
children. By hearing sentences like “The Captain will return after this message,” children
were able to distinguish commercials and programs (Butter, Popovich, Stackhouse, &
Garner, 1981). Children also utilized simple perceptual cues such as “commercials are
short” to tell the difference between the two (Palmer & McDowell, 1979). None of these


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