Media Law

Internet advertising poses risk to children

A study published by the Regional Media and Communication Centre in Rheinland Pfalz (Landeszentrale für Medien und Kommunikation, LMK) has found that internet advertising poses a risk to children.

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Bildnachweis: 2 girls and a boy at the laptop | Ingo Bartussek | Fotolia

Risk to children

The study showed that young internet users struggle to differentiate between advertising and editorial content.

71% of children have difficulties recognising the advertising intention on television channel websites where traditional product advertising and promotional offers are mixed.

The LMK criticised internet advertisements which linked to external website as they make it more difficult to return to the original offer.

The study also concluded that children have trouble spotting advertising elements contained in internet games, and according to the study, children are more likely to divulge personal information in order to play an internet game.

In light of the study, the LMK called for more support in schools and for parents to help teach children how to recognise advertising. The LMK also raised the possibility of internet advertising guidelines being produced.

Protection of children from media influence

In addition to the LMK study, there have been calls for Germany’s laws on the protection of children from harmful media content to be updated.

On the 10th anniversary since Germany’s ‘Commission for the Protection of Minors from Media Influence’ (Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz, KJM) was set up, Bavaria’s state prosecutor Thomas Kreuze commented, “Amendments to the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors from the Media are unavoidable.”

The industry magazine, Blickpunkt Film, reported that there are plans to present a draft bill in autumn, claiming that Germany’s law on the protection of minors from harmful media content, which dates back to 2003, needs to be brought into line with rash technical developments.

Speaking to the magazine, head of the KJM, Siegfried Schneider, asked whether “public radio broadcasters should not also be controlled”. He urged for the commission’s powers to be extended.

Rafaela Wilde is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE.

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