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BizReport : Law & Regulation : September 28, 2010

Marketing to children? Check out Check

Marketing to children can be a minefield. The launch of an online toolkit and resource centre aims to make marketers' lives a lot easier and ensure the protection of children both off- and online.

by Helen Leggatt

The initiative, called the "Children's Ethical Communications Kit", or Check for short, aims to broaden the understanding of regulations surrounding marketing to children.

"Nobody gains from irresponsible marketing where children are concerned. It's damaging for client relationships, for brands, for the industry's reputation and for the person that gets it wrong," said Ian Barber, Director of Communications at the Advertising Association.

"Marketing and children is a hot topic and it's good to see the industry keeping one step ahead."

While current CAP Codes apply mostly to conventional forms of online marketing, such as paid-for space (e.g. banner ads, pop-ups) and sales promotions, wherever they appear, changes are afoot that will include many newer forms of advertising that children may be subjected to (children being any person under the age of 16).

For example, from 1st March 2011, the Advertising Standards Authority's remit will be extended to cover all marketing communications online. This will include marketing communications on advertisers' own websites, and in other non-paid-for space under their control such as Facebook Fan Pages or Twitter feeds.

Check is supported by official regulatory bodies in partnership with Turner Media Innovations, the bespoke ad sales division of Turner Broadcasting, the owner of Cartoon Network.

Tags: children, online advertising, online marketing

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