Children and young people are subjected to marketing and invitations to purchase during commercial breaks in children’s programmes, on social media and in mobile and online games. Parents should help children use media properly and to recognise advertisements. Blocks and restrictions can protect children from harmful content and unauthorised purchases. Watch all August consumer tips by the Consumer Advisory Service about children and young people as consumers.
Advertisements must be kept separate from other content reaching children and young people
Marketing which is either specifically directed at children or which they are easily subjected to is by law considered unethical if it makes use of their inexperience or gullibility. Advertising must be recognised as advertising regardless of how it has been created.
Many companies include social media stars, followed by children, in their marketing. If a company cooperates with a blogger or vlogger with the intention of giving positive evaluations of the company’s products or services, the company must advice its partners to include information about such cooperation or receipt of benefits in connection with its postings.
If you find a piece of marketing unsuitable for minors, tell the advertiser so. You can use an online form to send the Consumer Ombudsman information about unethical marketing that reaches minors. Reports will be used for supervisory purposes.
Instruct your child on phone and Internet use
Children usually get their first phone when they go to school. Restrictions for phone subscriptions protect parents from excessively high bills and the children from harmful content. Contact your operator for more information about restrictions.
Phones and mobile games give children access to plenty of marketing and various invitations to purchase. Instruct your child on using mobile phones and the Internet, and agree on rules. Tell your child also what their personal data is and how they should protect it online.
If a child has made undesired game purchases, try to settle the matter by contacting the party that sent the invoice or provided the service. You are also entitled to present your claims to the credit card company or the operator, who has a joint responsibility with the service provider to clarify problem situations. If the matter is still unsettled, turn to the Consumer Advisory Service. Read the instructions.
Children as consumers
Recognisability of advertising