Skip to main content

As parents know, kids spend a huge amount of time online, especially now with COVID-19 school and camp closures. They get ideas from influencers on social media and video platforms, make purchases on their smartphones, and influence a lot of family spending. This phenomenon is not limited to the U.S. alone. Recent data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that, on average, kids around the world spend at least three hours online outside of school on a typical weekday, and more than three and a half hours on a typical weekend. Businesses have noticed, and are finding new ways to reach kids on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops, sometimes with personalized messages, no matter where they live.

In response, the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network (ICPEN), a network of consumer protection agencies from over 60 countries, developed Best Practice Principles for Marketing Practices Directed Towards Children Online. If you advertise abroad, or advise clients who do, you might want to check out ICPEN’s best practices so you can understand the range of issues that concern consumer protection agencies and the variety of approaches they use to ensure marketing to children online complies with the laws in their jurisdictions.

The ICPEN Best Practices Principles are high level principles: They arent an enforcement statement or a guide on how to comply with laws in any particular jurisdiction. For tips on complying with the FTC’s truth-in-advertising advertising standards for marketing to kids in the United States, check out this Business Center page and these updated FAQs on complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The FTC is a member of ICPEN, which promotes cross-border cooperation and coordinates the cross-border consumer complaint website, ICPEN developed the best practice principles during the Presidency term of Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce. To learn more about ICPEN and its work, please visit


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Get Business Blog updates