Does Your Brand Market to Children? 3 Things You Must Consider
The FTC enforces regulations that affect business practices while protecting consumers. When it comes to protecting children, these rules become stricter. UNICEF has also created some global regulations. Besides the rules, you should consider ethics when marketing to children. Here are 3 guidelines you should find paramount for your marketing strategy.
If children are under 13, you can’t collect private data from them that identifies the child personally. That’s why COPPA exists. The FTC will not allow the identifiable collection of a child’s personal information, be it a name, address, phone number, email, or even interests.
Don’t assume that children will never use your site. If the FTC decides that your site may appeal to children in some way, it will be assumed that kids would provide their information when prompted.
Be Careful When Promoting Benefits
As marketers, we often appeal to adults on an emotional level to make a sale. Most grownups realize that the actual benefits of a product will be somewhat less dramatic than the life-altering experience promised in advertising. Children are more easily misled. They are also more easily disappointed.
Legally, the same rules apply. Don’t lie or intentionally mislead. Ethically, the issue is whether or not an ad creates a situation where parents are pressured to buy unnecessary products that marketing has convinced a child are necessary for happiness.
Where to Place Your Ad
This is another touchy subject. The only real rule that the FCC has is that you can’t advertise a product during a show that is based on said product. For example, there cannot be a commercial for Transformers during a Transformers cartoon. However, after the credits roll, there’s no rule about the very next ad.
The key here is to be responsible when marketing to children. If a parent is watching a show, playing a video game, or surfing the web with their child, will they be appalled at your brand’s choice of product placement?