IGF 2020 WS #357 New profiles of marketing aimed at children in the Internet

Monday, 16th November, 2020 (10:10 UTC) - Monday, 16th November, 2020 (11:10 UTC)
Room 3
About this Session
Internet changed the landscape of marketing in general and, when considering children as its target, is particularly tricky. Children’s ability to recognize marketing arguments and other of its aspects justify a certain degree of control on marketing practices, which in Internet becomes much more difficult. The discussion will focus on the contextualisation of this problem and in tools and proposals to reach the protection needed together with maintaining the open nature of Internet.

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 3: Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Speaker 1: Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 2: Diego Canabarro, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Isabella Henriques, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Additional Speakers

We had to rearranje the lineup of speakers due to the new format, changes in their availability and also by considering the valuable feedback obtained. The new lineup will go as follows:

1) Jeffrey Chester - Executive Director Center for Digital Democracy. ONG – EUA

2) Dorothy K. Gordon - IFAP Chair Chair, UNESCO, Information for All Programme (IFAP) Programme Information pour tous (PIPT) . Miltilateral organ - Gana

3) Danilo Doneda - Law Professor, IDP. Academy - Brazil

4) Baroness Beeban Kidron -  Founder and Chair of 5Rights Foundation. House of Lords. ONG – UK

5) Jacqueline Stephenson - Mars’ Global Responsible Marketing Director. Mars. Business - UK



Isabella Henriques, Civil Society, lawyer and executive director of Alana Institute

Online Moderator: 

Marina Meira, Civil Society, lawyer, Alana Institute, Brazil



Panel - Auditorium - 90 Min

Online duration reset to 60 minutes.
Policy Question(s)

- Would the implementation of a framework to restrict marketing aimed at children eventually restrict their rights, e.g. right of access, right of free expression as fundamental elements of their development? How to shape policies to observe those rights?

How to protect children from commercial exploitation in the digital environment? How to promote in the business sector more fair and responsible marketing practices? What are the legal and self regulatory standards regarding marketing to kids in the digital environment? It is possible to harmonize business, data and children's rights by design?


GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption


Internet substantially changed the landscape of marketing in general in a handful of ways, whether by blurring the distinction among content and merchandising, by attracting the attention of potential consumers in other occasions than in the ancient traditional marketing platforms and, maybe even more remarkably, by making it possible to get more information from consumers in order to draw strategies and business models and alto tailor the advertisement to specific groups or even individuals. That’s a general landscape. When considering children as the target of advertising, however, more elements will need to be considered in contexts that previously not even easily related to marketing. As a consequence, several of the tools and rules governing marketing aimed at children would have to be adapted and others eventually created. Children, throughout their development into adults, have different degrees of cognition regarding theirits capacity to recognize a marketing argument. Only slowly they became able to differentiate it from the general discourse, and if that was one reason for justifying a certain degree of control on marketing practices on social communication media, to implement similar tools to the diverse landscape of information available in Internet becomes much more difficult. Several factors add to this difficulty: children are addressed in several news ways and moments, such as in YouTube videos, games or by connected toys and assistants. The platforms and applications business models based on the monetization and commercial exploitation of children's use and experience in the digital environment, the eExposition to the Internet with no supervision or mediation by parents grows and the social isolation imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic and hyperdigitalization scenario makes it substantially harder to keep children off screens and, consequently, away from being marketing targets.

Expected Outcomes

On the short term, we will produce a session’s report to be made public. Besides this, the discussion will be moved further with stakeholders in order to consider the formulation of a set of guidelines to orient advocacy projects aimed at marketing aimed at children in the Internet.

The panel’s dynamics will be as follows:

Introduction (Moderator, 3 minutes)

Part I: Which marketing aimed at children are being used in Internet and which issues and challenges do they present? (Speakers, 8 minutes each)

Part II: Moderator asks specific questions to speakers on the measures and tools need to tackle the issues they bought in Part I;

Audience Q&A and conclusion of the speakers (15 minutes).

Wrap up and closure (Moderator, 2 minutes)

Relevance to Internet Governance: The development of mature and non-abusive marketing practices in the Internet when considering children as the users and also the goal of marketing practices is of utmost importance to elaborate a trustful and responsible environment for children to explore the potentials of the Internet.

Relevance to Theme: Considering the affluence of children online and the low rate of intermediation by parentes and responsabiles, specially among low-income populations, the exposition of children to abusive and sometimes predatory marketing practices on the Internet has been a concrete source of erosion of trust in online ambients and the Internet, with not favorable consequences to the practice of other online activities by children

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.