FTC Seeks Additional Public Comment on “Stealth” Kids Digital Advertising

(Image credit: Future)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is seeking additional public comment on how children are affected by digital advertising and marketing messages that the agency feels may blur the line between ads and entertainment. 

The agency is seeing public comments as part of its plans for an October 19, 2022 event that will examine how marketers reach children via digital media, including by embedding advertising in video sharing platforms, social media platforms through influencer and celebrity posts, games, virtual worlds, and other digital environments.

The October 19, 2022 “Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media” will feature researchers, child development and legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals examining the techniques being used to advertise to children online – in all the various digital spaces children frequent – and what measures should be implemented to protect children from manipulative advertising. 

Specific topics include:

  • Children’s capacity at different ages and developmental stages to recognize and understand advertising content and distinguish it from other content;
  • The harms to children resulting from the inability of children to recognize advertising;
  • What measures should be taken to protect children from blurred content in digital marketing; and
  • The need for and efficacy of disclosures as a solution for children of different ages, including the format, timing, placement, wording, and frequency of disclosures.

The event will be held virtually and webcast on the FTC’s website at FTC.gov. A link to the webcast, as well as the agenda and speaker information, will be posted in advance of the event. Registration is not required.

The public will have until November 18, 2022 to submit comments so that they will be able to provide input on the topics discussed at the October digital advertising event. 

Information on how to submit a comment is available here

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.