Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 29

used in a way that can be duplicated. And if there are any additional purchase requirements (e.g., batteries, a memory card) or assembly requirements to make the product work as

shown, this needs to be disclosed clearly. CARU regularly recommends changes to ads that do not fully disclose what comes with purchase or what needs to be bought separately. Ads also should be done in a way not to unduly exploit the imagination of a younger audience. CGI and animation are widely used in advertisements but need to be used in a way that kids can appreciate and understand – for example that use of a product will not really turn them into a super hero or a prom queen. • Food Advertising to Kids is an Enforcement Buzz Area. In any ads, consumption of food should not be excessive. Disney made headlines recently when it decided not to air junk food ads on programs for kids. Recognize that the child obesity epidemic in this country is growing and health advocates are putting significant pressure on marketers to show responsible consumption of healthy foods. • Simply Simplify. Kids need disclosures and disclaimers too, and they

are subject to the same standards – placing them clearly and conspicuously and in close proximity to the claim they modify. When children are the intended audience, even more care should be taken to avoid legalese and communicate as clearly and simply as possible. One sees this with contests directed to children when the disclaimer says “Many will enter few will win.” For kids, audio disclosures are preferred in TV ads. • Star Power Can Be Too Dazzling. The basics of the FTC’s Endorsements and Testimonial Guides apply to kids but with extra punch, as young consumer’s impressions of a product can be significantly influenced by a celebrity spokesperson. Extra care should be taken to avoid creating the misimpression that the use of the product enhanced the celebrity’s performance and to make it clear that the celebrity is selling the product. • Online Sales Should Not Be Like Taking Candy from a Baby. Where children are presented with an opportunity directly to purchase a product, marketers must make very clear they are targeting kids for a sale. Children may not appreciate, for example, that an offer to join a club requires a purchase. Any “Click here to order” or other instructions for purchasing a product should include clear direction that kids must have a parent’s permission to order. As technologies change, advertisers should make reasonable efforts to make sure that the parent responsible for paying for the product has the means to control the transaction. Typically, requiring a credit card for purchase is an example of giving adults the ability to control the transaction. As opportunities to purchase products using cellphones or other mobile devices that have charges appear on the phone or data bill, giving adults this control becomes more challenging. The Florida attorney general entered into a series of settlements several years ago with various players in the mobile content industry where customers, noted as “usually children or teenagers,” could download a ringtone for free but were also signed up for an ongoing

subscription program that would be billed to the parent’s cellphone. In all cases, reasonable means should be available for cancelling orders and obtaining refunds for any unauthorized purchases by children online. • Act Now/Act Fast – Dial Back on the Call to Action. Ads should not encourage kids to ask their parents to buy products or suggest that a parent who buys the products are more generous than those who do not. Creating a sense of urgency in ads directed to kids is not appropriate, nor is minimizing the price with words like “bargain,” “now reduced,” “only” or “just,” as younger children particularly do not have the ability to understand such price comparisons. • Collecting data from kids is subject to different rules. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) applies to the online collection of personal information from children under the age of 13, and it requires that website operators implement procedures to ensure that they not collect personal information from children without obtaining prior parental consent, and that they delete any such information about which they become aware. This is required not only for ostensibly “children’s sites,” but also for any website whose operators know or should know the site is collecting information from children under age 13. COPPA enforcement is a hot item at the FTC. They have obtained settlements from companies marketing apps to children that allowed kids to post comments on message boards without parental consent. Companies need to not only develop privacy policies that comply with COPPA guidelines, but they need to implement and comply with those policies and perhaps avail themselves of the safe harbor certification process offered by organizations such as CARU. But collecting and protecting consumer data is obviously not restricted to those under 13. Making sure your company abides by its privacy policy and maintains industry best practices to protect consumer data is key for all ages. Gregory Sater and Amy Mudge are partners at Venable LLP. 29

October 2012 | electronicRETAILER



Electronic Retailer - October 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer - October 2012

Calendar of Events
Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Industry Reports
FTC Forum
IMS Retail Rankings
Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Ask the Expert
From the Executive’s Desk
It’s All About the Numbers
Media Attribution Goes Mobile
Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games
Guest Viewpoint
Guest Viewpoint
DRTV
Teleservices
Fulfillment
Member Spotlight
Bulletin Board
Advertiser Index
Classifieds
Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover1
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover2
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 3
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 4
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 5
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 6
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Calendar of Events
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Your Association, Your Bottom Line
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 9
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Industry Reports
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 11
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - FTC Forum
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 13
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - IMS Retail Rankings
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 15
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Jordan Whitney’s Top Categories
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 17
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Ask the Expert
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - From the Executive’s Desk
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - It’s All About the Numbers
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 21
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 22
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 23
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Media Attribution Goes Mobile
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 25
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 26
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 27
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Marketing to Teens: Not All Fun and Games
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 29
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 30
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 32
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Guest Viewpoint
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 34
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 35
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 36
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - DRTV
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Teleservices
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Fulfillment
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Member Spotlight
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 41
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 42
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Advertiser Index
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Classifieds
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - 45
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - Rick Petry
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover3
Electronic Retailer - October 2012 - cover4
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