FTC to Hold Virtual Event on Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media

The Federal Trade Commission will host a virtual event on October 19, 2022, to examine how best to protect children from a growing array of manipulative marketing practices that make it difficult or impossible for children to distinguish ads from entertainment in digital media. The event will examine practices such as the rapidly growing “kid influencer” marketplace in which the line between paid promotions and unsponsored influencer videos is often blurred. 

The FTC will bring together researchers, child development and legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals to examine the techniques being used to advertise to children online and what measures should be implemented to protect children from manipulative advertising. Some of the topics the event will examine 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 FTC is seeking research papers and written comments on the topics and questions listed above. Papers and comments should be submitted via email to digitalads2kids@ftc.gov by July 18, 2022.

The workshop will be held virtually and webcast on the FTC’s website at FTC.gov. Additional information, including a list of speakers and the agenda will be posted to the event page in advance of the event.

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