Saturday, 17 September 2011

Should Word-Of-Mouth Be Child's Play For Advertisers?


Advertisers are increasingly trying to find ways to get consumers to spread the word about their products, but controversy over the involvement of children in this is forcing the advertising industry to examine its practices.

Personal recommendations can be big business.

Often when advertisers try to convince us of the life-enhancing qualities of some new product, we don't buy it. But a recommendation from a friend can be far more persuasive.

"There is this idea that it is a more trusted source, if you have got members of the public saying how brilliant your brand is," says Charlotte McEleny, senior reporter at New Media Age magazine.

"You trust your friends more than you do marketing messages."

However, concerns over the involvement of children in what's called peer-to-peer marketing were expressed in the recent Bailey Review for the government looking at pressures on growing up.

A particular area of concern was the use of "brand ambassadors", where companies recruit children with perceived influence among their peers, and reward them to promote products face-to-face to friends and online on social networks and blogs.

Read more here

"Advergames and all kinds of online marketing are now regulated by the same codes as TV advertising, but what the codes don't cover is the amount of time a child is exposed to an advert nor the type of messaging.

Consuming Kids - The Commercialization of Childhood [Full Film]

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