Children at risk of stealth marketing on Web

The National Consumer Council (NCC) and Childnet International are calling for “proper enforcement” of online rules to protect children from stealth marketing on the Web.

The comments come as the pair publish a report into kids and the internet. The report, called Fair Game, found that children are exposed to “opaque commercial practices” on websites deigned for children. It also reveals that children are not only attracted to websites aimed at them but also to sites that expose them to adult-only services, such as gambling and dating.

It says that children are often unable to make the distinction between factual content and advertising. The report found that almost three-quarters of ads are not labelled as advertising.

Childnet International, established in 1995, is a registered charity which aims to make the internet a safer environment for children both in the UK and on a global level.

The report calls for more effort to monitor online advertising and practices plus effective international co-operation on the enforcement of codes of practices.

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