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Regulating advertising aimed at children in the digital era: too little, too late or too much, too soon?

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Abstract
Advertising has always been regulated to a certain extent, either through legislation or alternative regulatory instruments, such as self- and/or co-regulation. The protection of vulnerable viewers or media users, of which children and teenagers are a prime example, is one of the rationales which usually inspires such regulation. Traditionally, and certainly with regard to legislation, rules (may) differ according to the medium through which advertising is communicated. However, as advertising strategies increasingly include cross-media campaigns, the use of converged technologies and hybrid formats which blur the lines between commercial and editorial content, questions are raised as to the applicability of the current legislative framework. The same ad which is aimed at minors on television may be subject to other rules when it is distributed on an online platform such as YouTube. An advergame which goes viral through a social network may fall within the scope of different laws in various law domains, depending on its format and content. This paper will provide an overview of current existing legal obligations at the European Union level in three main fields: audiovisual media services, electronic commerce and consumer protection. The relevant provisions of the applicable regulatory instruments will be identified, and described. In a second part a critical assessment will be made of the applicability of these instruments to converging, digital advertising formats. Gaps as well as possible overlap will be exposed, in order to evaluate to what extent the policy goal of protecting children is realized today with regard to these formats.
Keywords
law, consumer protection, advertising, children, data protection, HRC

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Verdoodt, Valerie, and Eva Lievens. “Regulating Advertising Aimed at Children in the Digital Era: Too Little, Too Late or Too Much, Too Soon?” “Children, Adolescents and Advertising” Symposium, Abstracts. 2015. Print.
APA
Verdoodt, V., & Lievens, E. (2015). Regulating advertising aimed at children in the digital era: too little, too late or too much, too soon? “Children, Adolescents and Advertising” Symposium, Abstracts. Presented at the Children, adolescents and advertising symposium.
Chicago author-date
Verdoodt, Valerie, and Eva Lievens. 2015. “Regulating Advertising Aimed at Children in the Digital Era: Too Little, Too Late or Too Much, Too Soon?” In “Children, Adolescents and Advertising” Symposium, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Verdoodt, Valerie, and Eva Lievens. 2015. “Regulating Advertising Aimed at Children in the Digital Era: Too Little, Too Late or Too Much, Too Soon?” In “Children, Adolescents and Advertising” Symposium, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Verdoodt V, Lievens E. Regulating advertising aimed at children in the digital era: too little, too late or too much, too soon? “Children, Adolescents and Advertising” Symposium, Abstracts. 2015.
IEEE
[1]
V. Verdoodt and E. Lievens, “Regulating advertising aimed at children in the digital era: too little, too late or too much, too soon?,” in “Children, Adolescents and Advertising” Symposium, Abstracts, Madrid, Spain, 2015.
@inproceedings{6977593,
  abstract     = {Advertising has always been regulated to a certain extent, either through legislation or alternative regulatory instruments, such as self- and/or co-regulation. The protection of vulnerable viewers or media users, of which children and teenagers are a prime example, is one of the rationales which usually inspires such regulation. Traditionally, and certainly with regard to legislation, rules (may) differ according to the medium through which advertising is communicated. However, as advertising strategies increasingly include cross-media campaigns, the use of converged technologies and hybrid formats which blur the lines between commercial and editorial content, questions are raised as to the applicability of the current legislative framework. The same ad which is aimed at minors on television may be subject to other rules when it is distributed on an online platform such as YouTube. An advergame which goes viral through a social network may fall within the scope of different laws in various law domains, depending on its format and content. This paper will provide an overview of current existing legal obligations at the European Union level in three main fields: audiovisual media services, electronic commerce and consumer protection. The relevant provisions of the applicable regulatory instruments will be identified, and described. In a second part a critical assessment will be made of the applicability of these instruments to converging, digital advertising formats. Gaps as well as possible overlap will be exposed, in order to evaluate to what extent the policy goal of protecting children is realized today with regard to these formats.},
  author       = {Verdoodt, Valerie and Lievens, Eva},
  booktitle    = {'Children, Adolescents and Advertising' Symposium, Abstracts},
  keywords     = {law,consumer protection,advertising,children,data protection,HRC},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Madrid, Spain},
  title        = {Regulating advertising aimed at children in the digital era: too little, too late or too much, too soon?},
  year         = {2015},
}