How many times have you cursed the advertisements geared towards your kids? How many times a week do you get pestered to buy something that they have seen an ad for? If you’re like most of us, probably more times than you can count. Did you know that 95% percent of apps for kids under the age of 5 include at least one advertisement? Lots of which aren’t necessarily age appropriate.  As a COPPA compliant app, that’s advertisement free, we believe this is a problem.

On that note this week our 5 things to know is focused on advertising directed at children. Specifically those found in “kids” apps. How do these constant advertisements affect our children’s brains, and the privacy concerns that come with these advertisements.   To keep things short and sweet, we have created our TL;DR takeaways for a brief overview of the article. To end things off, as always there’s a tip of the week and a feel-good story to get your weekend started off right.

This Weeks Top Reads

Advertising in Kids’ Apps More Prevalent Than Parents May Realize

via Science Daily

TL;DR Takeaway

A new study  published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics has shown that ninety-five percent of downloaded apps marketed to children contain at least one type of advertisement. In some cases, time spent being exposed to ads even surpassed time spent playing the game. This is concerning as prior research has shown that children under the age of 8 can’t distinguish between media content and advertising and these commercial influences are potentially impacting how children play and their creativity. There are also privacy concerns with many of these apps, and how these advertisements might be affecting how our children learn.

Apps for Preschoolers Are Flooded With Manipulative Ads, According to a New Study

via Vox

TL;DR Takeaway

Looking at the advertisements found in children’s apps has become a growing concern this week. Many apps are marketed to kids as “free” when it is often impossible to advance in the game without making in-app purchases. These are encouraged to be purchased using emotionally manipulative tactics such as making characters cry which children don’t purchase anything from the game which can be emotionally harmful. Children are known to develop emotional relationships with media characters, which when a character encourages/discourages children to make a purchased it can lead to children feeling emotionally charged to make purchases.

Report of the APA Task Force on Advertising and Children

via American Psychological Association

TL;DR Takeaway

There are several concerns associated with advertising to children. Some of them include:

  • Parent-child conflict when parents deny their children’s product requests.
  • How advertisements can affect eating habits, encouragement the consumption of candy, fast foods and  snacks.
  • The substantial relationship between children viewing tobacco and alcohol ads and positive attitudes towards their consumption.

The American Association of Psychology recommends creating public policy that restricts advertising that is directed to younger audiences, and that advertising disclaimers should be stated so they can be understood by the intended audience.

Friday's Feel Good Story

People Sharing Incredible Stories of a Time Strangers Were Kind to Them

via SunnySkyz

TL;DR Takeaway

A little kindness goes a long way. We should all aim to be kind to everyone.

Tip of the Week

Talking to Kids About Advertising -Tip Sheet

via Media Smarts

Talking to kids about how advertisements work and why they are targeted can help make them more savvy consumers

  • Start Young
  • Explain how advertising works
  • Help your kids spot ads
  • Point out tricks of the trade
  • Explain how marketers target them
  • Separate media and merchandising
  • Discuss stereotyping, gender and body image issues in ads
  • De-construct food advertising
  • Talk about the value of money
  • Encourage kids to speak out when they see something offensive

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