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Parents say digital ad industry is not doing enough to protect children

Parents say digital ad industry is not doing enough to protect children

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Parents don’t think the advertising industry is doing enough to protect their children from misinformation, harassment, or other dangers of the internet — and this applies to advertisers, publishers, and social media platforms.

According to the latest report by IAS titled “The Rise of Responsible Media”, nearly 83% of parents say social media platforms can be detrimental without proper controls in place. Around 77% of parents say publishers should be concerned about the well-being of their audience, while 72% of parents also hold brands accountable saying that they have a moral imperative to advertise responsibly.

Don't miss: Study: 68% of non-parents in APAC region are choosing not to have children, how can brands adapt?

Despite the demands from the digital world, parents do feel that the onus on themselves to protect their children online — but only 39% are confident in their ability to do so.

When it comes to responsible advertising, most parents (68%) believe that ads should be placed near appropriate content, on safe and legitimate sites. Around 43% of respondents also wanted ads to only be on sites that are committed to protecting user privacy. Followed closely (42%) by those wanting advertising on sites free from misinformation or fake news.

Keyword blocklists are outdated

So how can the internet be made a safe place? While keyword blocking is a common path taken, it is an outdated means to an end, said the report. Working with MAGNA Media Trials, the IAS study found that keyword blocking also hinders consumers from having an authentic experience with online content.

In addition to a fair amount of overhead maintenance to keep up to date, keyword technology is limited to URL detection, not taking into account the context or sentiment of the page, which leads to more false negatives and false positives. The report added that advertisers who are relying on keyword blocklists are potentially missing out on responsible engagement with consumers, and also missing the opportunity to promote diverse content and content creators.

While advertisers often play it safe and believe that ad placement across diverse, political, or mental health content could have a negative impact on brand KPIs, the study with MAGNA Media Trials proved otherwise.

In fact, ad placement near exclusion list content, which would be flagged by an exclusion keyword list, was as successful as standard content in driving positive KPI performance.

Ads near exclusion list content also scored well in regards to content alignment as being likeable, high quality, and gaining attention. In fact, 79% of consumers said the ad near the exclusion list content was high quality and 74% of consumers said the ad near the exclusion list content was likeable. 

Related articles: 
IMDA introduces new law to minimise ads on children's social media accounts 
TikTok to be penalised for breaching the privacy of children in EU 
Watchdog: Roblox violates advertising guidelines for marketing to children under 13

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