Insiders Guide: Regulating Online

Our kids are glued to video channels, online games and social media.

Recent research from Canada shows that Canadian kids are exposed to a staggering 5,772 food adverts a year on apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube. That’s 15 per day. A staggering 97% of those were for products high in fat, sugar or salt.

A recent report from Cancer Research UK proves that children who spend more than three hours online are three times more likely to pester their parents for junk food and four times more likely to spend their money on junk food.

This online advertising is data driven, junk food advertising has proliferated online because the data shows that it works, and that means it increases sales, and so drives obesity, ipso facto, it really is that simple.

A simple 9pm watershed on junk food advertising on TV is essential, but if applied only to TV will just accelerate the migration of that advertising from highly-visible, UK-based, tax-paying, and generally socially responsible broadcasters to the hard-to-track, off-shore, tax-evading and, frankly, responsibility-dodging, tech-nopolies.

At Living Loud, we firmly believe that ever child has the right to grow up free from the undue influence of advertising for products likely to be detrimental to their health and wellbeing – and that needs to apply equally on traditional media, online, outdoor, in-store and on-pack.

Regulating digital is challenging and full of pitfalls. Our briefing offers a guide on how online advertising works, the culture, the underlying technology and challenges it presents to making it safer for our kids. It also offers opinions on how we might meet these challenges. It is based on my experience of 20+ years in digital advertising.

Download: Insider’s Guide: Regulating junk food marketing online


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