Advertising to Children and Teens: Current Practices

January 28, 2014

In this research brief, we review research on kids' exposure to traditional forms of advertising, but focus on cataloging the multiple new ways in which kids and teens are marketed to today. Digital media have dramatically changed the advertising landscape, to now include immersive websites, advergaming, viral marketing, mobile ads, social media marketing and precise behavioral and location targeting, blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment for even the savviest media consumer. This integration of advertising and content has also made it much more difficult for researchers to measure the breadth and impact of advertising on kids today. The brief summarizes current advertising practices aimed at kids and teens, and draws attention to the urgent need for research to quantify exposure and examine the effects of these practices.