CDD Urges FTC to Review Digital Marketing to Youth

NEW YORK The Center for Digital Democracy today urged the Federal Trade Commission to review and analyze the interactive marketing and branding technologies and techniques used by advertisers to target children, tweens and teens.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization also called on the ad industry to stop all interactive practices that could potentially harm or negatively affect children and youth until independent research suggested otherwise.

In a letter to the FTC, CDD executive director Jeffrey Chester argued that the “aggressive marketing practices” that have resulted from digital technology advances have far outstripped the protections offered by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. He wrote that the “immersive, relational and ubiquitous nature of such marketing raises serious questions about the ability of existing safeguards and rules to protect our nation’s children and young people.”

The CDD asked FTC chairman Timothy Muris and the four other commissioners to commence a study that will lead to recommendations on how to ensure that interactive marketing does not detract from the healthy development of children.