As parents when kids ask you for phone or tablets to play games or even use educational apps you hope that they learn something or they be entertained harmlessly for a while, but as kids enter the apps they contact with and targeted by in-app ads.
Around 95 percent of downloaded apps that are marketed to children age five and under five contain at least one type of advertising and it include even educational apps, too.
Researchers claims kids apps were contains lots of pop-up video ads, commercial characters that could distract children, or not always suitable for their age.They also found many of these ads violate F.T.C. rules by unfair and deceptive advertising. There are even some ads that are for products which are not appropriate for kids.
Why kids are more targeted by ads?
Actually in-app ads and sale suggestions does not annoy kids as it does adults. Young kids specially under six years old ones are not able to recognize ads from the game or app media. So ads can easily influence their way of thinking and their decisions. This is one of the essential reasons for setting rules for advertisers in kids digital products marketing.
For example sometimes the ads are for shooter games or games not appropriate for low aged children. As an example an app with a cartoon version of Trump trying not to push the red button that will send nukes, is definitely not appropriate for little kids.
The problem is that sometimes in order to achieve game goals, or level improvement, kid users could spend more time watching ads than using the app it self.
As far as ads are concerned, embedded ads are so common nowadays.They persuade kids to watch ads and get to higher levels as a prize, or use popular game characters to motivating the kids for buying staffs to stop the character’s sadness or crying.
Parent’s role in protecting the kids against inappropriate ads?
As parents we have a number protection options when we face in-app ads targeting our young kids.
- parents can set up daily screen time limitation for using apps and games.
- Parents can talk to their kids about not installing any kinds of app produced by any company.As example no violence apps are better choices.
- When there is manipulative character design, teach the why it is like this. All kids need to understand what the purpose of advertising is.
- Consider that sometimes in some cases kids suffer from lack the thinking skills to understand purpose and effects of advertising, so you better uninstall some apps and not to allow the kids to use them.
- Parents can monitor the apps their kids use to see whether they are not being manipulated with in-app ads or consider the average time of involving with advertisements.Monitoring also help parents consider the content of apps and it’s embedded advertisements.
With these steps we can help our young kids to understand their world, improve their critical thinking and decision making.