Children and Young People and Age-restricted Advertising

10:39 AM, 12 October 2017

For advertisers who need to comply with age-restricted rules in the ASA Codes (alcohol, food, gaming etc), the growth of online media, and particularly social media, provides some particular challenges to ensure compliance with the respective Codes. We know some users may sign up to social media platforms when aged less than 13 (the default minimum age of most social media platforms). Others will use devices registered to adults or older siblings. Both situations create the risk of kids seeing ads served to them that they should otherwise see.

So how can advertisers in these categories minimise the risk? The UK ASA has provided useful suggestions for age-restricted advertising online, which we believe are transferable to New Zealand.

The guidance suggests that advertisers should target their age-restricted adverts not just on the basis of data regarding the age of the audience (i.e. demographic data) but also on the basis of that audience's interests (i.e. behavioural data). It includes helpful tips on how to approach the targeting of age-restricted advertising online. Advertisers will want to be able to show that they have adopted appropriate due diligence in ensuring that their age-restricted ads have been targeted appropriately. That should not only include information on audience demographics but also, wherever possible, audience interests.

Advertisers will want to include appropriate obligations on their media and digital agencies and to ensure that they have a documented record, setting out the interest segments which have been selected for targeting (and why they are thought unlikely to appeal to an under-age audience), along with those which have been deselected (as possible indicators of under-age audiences).

You can read the guidance notes here

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