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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Marketing 'fun' at school

What most parents don't know, according to one children's advocate, is that "back to school" means back to the world of infotainment for a lot of kids. Schools usually provide an Internet "acceptable use policy" that outlines proper online behavior and safeguards against inappropriate content, but "little is formally being done to shield kids in school or at home from 'immersive advertising' or corporate-sponsored 'advergames' such as the Neopets Web site, which contains loads of embedded advertising messages [in games] and links to merchandise," Reuters reports. Reuters is citing the view of the Center for Digital Democracy, which is urging the US Federal Trade Commission to review marketing technologies used to attract children. Some data in the article: "the average American child is exposed to 40,000 ad messages each year" and "advertisers spend about $15 a year targeting kids through sites like Neopets." Food sites Reuters mentions which are marketing to kids include,, and


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