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Click here, kids! Advertising practices on popular children's Web sites
Unformatted Document Text:  Advertising on Children’s Web Sites 7 Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the National Council of Better Business Bureaus (Kunkel & Wilcox, 2001). The nature of self-regulatory guidelines indicates its lack of enforcement and regulatory power. Privacy concerns. Unlike traditional media marketing tools, the Web has potential to develop a deeper relationship with children (Leimbach, 2000). The marketers can even come between parents and children by directly communicating children and taking the decision out of the hands of parents. Though traditional concerns with marketing to children are still present, the Web has brought a whole new spectrum of pressing concerns. Parents, educators, policymakers, and advocacy groups have frequently voiced concerns about protecting children’s privacy on the Internet (Center for Media Education, 1996a). Their concerns escalated after the publication of the CME’s report “Web of deception,” in which the Center documented how commercial Web sites used games, contests, and offers of free merchandise to entice children to give up their personal information about themselves and their families (CME, 1996b). In May 1996, the CME filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about online marketing practices toward children. In March 1998, the FTC conducted a content analysis of 1,402 Web sites randomly selected from Yahoo. The analysis included 212 sites directed to children and found that 89 percent of these sites collected personal information and few of them (23 percent) asked for parental permission. The FTC reported these findings to Congress in June 1998 and proposed legislation to protect children’s online privacy rights. That

Authors: Cai, Xiaomei. and Markiewicz, Kristin.
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Advertising on Children’s Web Sites 7
Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the National Council of Better Business Bureaus
(Kunkel & Wilcox, 2001). The nature of self-regulatory guidelines indicates its lack of
enforcement and regulatory power.
Privacy concerns. Unlike traditional media marketing tools, the Web has potential
to develop a deeper relationship with children (Leimbach, 2000). The marketers can even
come between parents and children by directly communicating children and taking the
decision out of the hands of parents. Though traditional concerns with marketing to
children are still present, the Web has brought a whole new spectrum of pressing
concerns.
Parents, educators, policymakers, and advocacy groups have frequently voiced
concerns about protecting children’s privacy on the Internet (Center for Media Education,
1996a). Their concerns escalated after the publication of the CME’s report “Web of
deception,” in which the Center documented how commercial Web sites used games,
contests, and offers of free merchandise to entice children to give up their personal
information about themselves and their families (CME, 1996b). In May 1996, the CME
filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about online
marketing practices toward children.
In March 1998, the FTC conducted a content analysis of 1,402 Web sites
randomly selected from Yahoo. The analysis included 212 sites directed to children and
found that 89 percent of these sites collected personal information and few of them (23
percent) asked for parental permission. The FTC reported these findings to Congress in
June 1998 and proposed legislation to protect children’s online privacy rights. That


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