Half of adults reject marketing to kids

Almost half of adults (49 per cent) believe marketers should be allowed to target children, according to research.


The poll of more than 1,500 parents and children by YouGov’s SixthSense division found, however, a significant minority (21 per cent) of parents accepted advertising to kids as long as the spots were not promoting unhealthy foods.

Meanwhile, just over a third of parents (39 per cent) believe that children need to learn what advertising is.

The 8-16-year-olds polled were highly aware of the purpose of advertising with 92 per cent stating they understood ads are there to sell them something.

Peer to peer advertising and word of mouth remain strong influencers for children, particularly when it comes to video games and toys, as 59 per cent say they would be swayed by their friends, while 48 per cent say TV is key in their decision making.

When it comes to more traditional toys and games, the impact of friends and TV lessens though, with 43 per cent being influenced by peers, and just 25 per cent saying TV plays a role in their decision making.

“Advertising is a major part of everyone’s lives, both adults and children, and its influence cannot be underestimated,” says James McCoy, YouGov SixthSense research director.

“Although parents are concerned about the corrosive effect it may have on their children, the large number of kids that already understand that ads are designed to sell implies that adults cannot control the influence advertising has on their offspring,” he adds.

Read our recent feature on marketing to kids, The State of Play, here.

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