This legal issue brief focuses on “viral” or “word-of-mouth” marketing. Viral marketing campaigns are designed to mask their commercial origin, which raises multiple issues related to protecting consumers, especially young children. These campaigns are used to drive traffic to a firm’s website, Facebook page, or online marketing application. The brief describes viral marketing tactics used by firms; how firms derive value from these tactics; privacy concerns about these tactics aimed at young children and the personal information children may share, often without the knowledge or consent of parents; and how viral marketing tactics may violate state Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) statutes.
It’s Not Just for Teens: Viral Marketing to Young Children
State consumer protection laws have yet to fully catch up with advances in digital marketing. This report focuses on how existing state consumer protection law can be used to limit harmful digital marketing to children and adolescents. The report describes the key differences between digital and traditional food marketing and … More
Analyzing the Legal Authority of State Attorneys General to Limit Unfair and Deceptive Digital Food Marketing to Children
Food marketing that employs computers and mobile devices to engage young people has exploded in recent years and can directly target and geo-locate children, often without parental knowledge. State Attorneys General (AGs) have authority to protect the public from Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP). Digital marketing that bypasses … More
Digital Food and Beverage Marketing Environments in a National Sample of Middle Schools: Implications for Policy and Practice
One promising approach to influence nutrition behavior is to limit food and beverage marketing to children. Children are a lucrative market and schools may be an effective setting in which to intervene. Studies have shown that marketing in schools is prevalent but little is known about digital marketing to students … More