Archives: Children’s Advertising

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The FTC Won’t Let Them Be: Enforcement Action Brought Against App Developers for Violation of Children’s Privacy Law Presents New Challenges for Advertisers

In a recent show of force—which some believe is the tip of the iceberg—the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) brought an enforcement action against two mobile application (app) developers for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and, by extension, the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA). Seeking to avoid a drawn out dispute with the … Continue Reading

Landmark Children’s Advertising Court Decision Released in Germany

The German Federal Supreme Court (FSC) released its full decision in the Gameforge "Runes of Magic" case, holding that the language Gameforge used in its advertising was in violation of the German Act Against Unfair Competition. As a result of the FSC's decision, video games companies and other companies in Germany that create ads directed to children should become more vigilant of the language being used in advertising, or may be subject to a violation.… Continue Reading

ASA stumbles upon age-old problem

The ASA has released a survey which was commissioned to establish what advertisements were being accessed and seen by young people online. The 27-page survey focuses much of its attention on the engagement by young people of social media platforms and, perhaps unsurprisingly, establishes that a significant proportion of young people register with social media … Continue Reading

FTC Issues New COPPA Guidance Focusing on Ad Networks

It's now been almost a month since the revised COPPA Rule went into effect July 1, 2013. Earlier this year, the FTC issued new guidance on how to comply with the revised Rule. As part of its new guidance, the FTC provided a detailed set of FAQs. The FTC is planning to make additional revisions to their FAQs, with these revisions focusing on the obligations of ad networks. Specifically, the FTC explains in what circumstances an ad network is deemed to have "actual knowledge" that it has collected personal information from users of a child-directed site (see D.10, D.11, D.12), and the obligations of ad networks after they discover that they have been collecting personal information via a child-directed website (see K.2). The revised FAQs also relates traditional enforcement policy to the context of a button within an app that automatically opens an email program or social network. Providing the facility for a child to share personal information is just as problematic as if the operator was collecting that information itself. Thus, verifiable parental consent is required when permitting children to share content that may contain personal information - such as a painting combined with a field that allows for free expression.… Continue Reading

OFT Investigates So-Called “Free” Web- And App-Based Children’s Games

Over the last year, a number of cases have been reported where children have unwittingly racked up huge bills while playing web and app-based games that are free to download. The bills came from expensive “in-app purchases” of content such as upgraded membership and virtual currency, which is how many of the top-selling apps make … Continue Reading

FTC Issues FAQs for Revised COPPA Rule

On April 25, 2013, the FTC provided additional guidance in relation to the revised COPPA Rule, set to go into effect July 1, with a detailed set of FAQs. Members of the business community have been calling for a delay in the effective date of the revised rules, so that businesses could have more time to get better acquainted with the rules.… Continue Reading

FTC Releases Second Report on Food Marketing to Children and Teens

Days after announcing the new Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the FTC released its study, A Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents: Follow-Up Report, on the food and beverage marketing practices directed to children and teens.  The report serves as a follow up to the FTC’s 2008 report on the same topic.  It … Continue Reading

FTC Announces New COPPA Rule

FTC Chairman Leibowitz has followed though on his commitment to finalize the new COPPA rule by the end of the year. Earlier today, at a press conference, the Chairman, alongside Senator Jay Rockefeller, announced the agency’s update to the rule. The new rule expands the application of the rule to new categories of “personal information” … Continue Reading

Do you know where your children are?

Apparently, a lot of people want to know, according to the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Jeff Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy. To learn more why, read our Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog covering the latest complaint filed against a mobile game-maker for alleged COPPA violations.… Continue Reading

Children’s Privacy in Mobile Apps Continues to be atop FTC’s List of Concerns

One is hard-pressed to think of something more important than protecting the privacy of our children. Front and center in this debate is how such privacy concerns need to be addressed in mobile platforms like smartphones. As the saying goes, "There's an app for that", and such is certainly true in offerings directed to children. The Federal Trade Commission has now issued its second staff report on the privacy practices of mobile apps for children, "Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade."… Continue Reading

FTC COPPA Rule Revision Comments-Deadline Extended to December 23

No need to fret over Thanksgiving! The Federal Trade Commission has extended until December 23, 2011, the deadline for the public to submit comments on proposed amendments to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. That’s good news because the revisions are significant and include the demise of the flexible "sliding scale" approach that permitted operators … Continue Reading

FTC Signals Retrenching on IWG Proposals

After a swift left to the chin in early September from the Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair, Rep. Fred Upton, David Vladeck, the FTC Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, and the Subcommittee on Health, October 12, 2011, discussing the International Working Group … Continue Reading

CARU Annual Law Conference – Explore the role of self-regulation in the U.S. in the area of Marketing to Kids and Get a Discount

From the proposed changes to COPPA to the latest developments in the area of self-regulation of food marketing to children, the CARU conference to be held Wednesday, October 5, 2011 in New York City will be one of the best places not only to learn the details but also to interact with leaders in the … Continue Reading

A Child’s World without Advertising? E.U. Contemplates Ban on Advertising Directed to Kids

The global attack on advertising to children draws broad battle lines. As proposed by the European Parliament Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection on July 19, 2011, the draft agenda for 2012 demonstrates a distrust of advertising generally, not just in relation to marketing of food products. The Committee has proposed a ban on all … Continue Reading

Rep. Markey Releases a Kids Do Not Track Discussion Draft Bill

This post was also written by Amy Mushahwar. Bill Adds to the Web of Proposed Privacy Legislation and Contains Much More Than Kids Do Not Track Today, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) circulated a discussion draft of his kids online do-not-track bill, co-sponsored by Joe Barton (R-Tex.) that proposes to make it illegal to use kids’ or … Continue Reading

New Principles for Food Marketing Presented for Comment

This post was written by John P. Feldman and Michael L. Sacks. The Interagency Working Group of Food Marketed to Children (“Working Group”) today has requested comments on proposed nutritional principles that it hopes will help in the fight against childhood obesity. The Working Group, established in 2009 by the FTC, FDA, CDC, and USDA at … Continue Reading

CARU Gets a Emmy Nomination

The role of self-regulation is partially educational. Wayne Keeley’s CARU has demonstrated once again why the self-regulatory body he heads up is relevant and focused on ensuring that the educational mission is not lost in the day-to-day cases they hear. CARU has produced a Public Service Campaign entitled “Do You Know Where Your Children Are…On … Continue Reading

CARU News: CARU Public Service Announcement Asks Parents: “Do you know where your children are on the internet?”

New York, NY – August 11, 2010 –The Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc., recently launched its first public service announcements, cautioning parents to be alert to their children’s activities on the Internet. The PSAs can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/user/CARUSelfRegulation. The spots feature Catherine Hicks, star of the … Continue Reading

CARU PSA Links

Dear Friends and Supporters: As most of you know, CARU is in the process of launching a PSA campaign on children’s safety on the Internet.  As Director of CARU and a parent of three young children, I ask that you please help us to get the word about this extremely important issue and our PSA … Continue Reading

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice: Advertising to Children

The new coalition government has stated that one of its priorities is the protection of children from excessive commercialisation. This policy aim reflects a general perception in the UK among the governing and chattering classes that advertising is at the root of both this problem and the problem of obesity among children. Eyes are therefore turned to the … Continue Reading

Teen COPPA?

The Federal Trade Commission testified that while teens are heavy users of the digital environment and may benefit from using the Internet to socialize with peers, learn about issues that interest them, and express themselves, it also can pose unique challenges for them. The FTC testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, … Continue Reading

Four Tips for Mobile Marketing to Kids

This post was written by Shira Simmonds, President, Ping Mobile. A 2007 study by the Nielsen Company reported that 35 percent of American "tweens" (kids 8‑12) now own mobile phones. How can we reach them via mobile marketing programs without violating any legal or ethical guidelines? The answer turns out to be remarkably simple. The potential is … Continue Reading
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