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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Event Description

On October 19, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission will host a virtual event on “Protecting Kids from Stealth Advertising in Digital Media.” The FTC will bring together researchers, child development and legal experts, consumer advocates, and industry professionals to examine the techniques being used to advertise to children online – in all the various digital spaces children frequent – and what measures should be implemented to protect children from manipulative advertising. Specific topics include:

  • Children’s capacity at different ages and developmental stages to recognize and understand advertising content and distinguish it from other content;
  • The harms to children resulting from the inability of children to recognize advertising;
  • What measures should be taken to protect children from blurred content in digital marketing; and
  • The need for and efficacy of disclosures as a solution for children of different ages, including the format, timing, placement, wording, and frequency of disclosures.

The event will be held virtually and webcast on the FTC’s website at FTC.gov. A link to the webcast, as well as the agenda and speaker information, will be posted in advance of the event. Registration is not required.

In conjunction with this event, the FTC is seeking additional public comment on how children are affected by digital advertising and marketing messages that may blur the line between ads and entertainment. The public will have until November 18, 2022 to submit comments to accommodate those who wish to provide input on the topics discussed at the event. Information on how to submit comments can be found on Regulations.gov.

  • Agenda

    9:00 am

    Welcome and Opening Remarks


    Lina M. Khan 
    Chair, Federal Trade Commission 
    9:15 am

    Presentation: Children’s Advertising Show and Tell 

    This presentation will set the scene for the event by discussing the range of digital spaces children, including teens, frequent and the types of advertising and marketing techniques used to advertise to them. The presenter will provide visual examples of ads children encounter in digital media, such as kid influencer videos and in-game ads. The presenter also will discuss the current legal and self-regulatory landscape in this space. Afterward, the presenter will answer questions from the moderator. 

    Presenter: 
    Mamie Kresses 
    Vice President, Children’s Advertising Review Unit, BBB National Programs 

    Moderator: 
    Tawana Davis 
    Assistant Director, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission 

    10:00 am

    Panel 1: Children’s Cognitive Abilities – What do they know and when?

    This panel will discuss children’s cognitive abilities at different ages and developmental stages to recognize and understand advertising content and to distinguish it from other content. Panelists will discuss relevant research, as well as any impacts or potential remedies. 

    Moderator: 
    Elizabeth Nach 
    Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission
     
    Panelists: 
    Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn 

    Director, Games and Virtual Environments Lab 
    Associate Professor, Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Georgia 

    Liselot Hudders 
    Associate Professor, Ghent University 

    Sonia Livingstone 
    Professor of Social Psychology, London School of Economics 

    Jenny Radesky 
    Division Director, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics 
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Michigan Medical School 

    Eva A. van Reijmersdal 
    Associate Professor of Persuasive Communication, 
    Amsterdam School of Communication Research ASCoR, University of Amsterdam

     

    11:15 am

    Break

    12:30 pm

    Panel 2: The Current Advertising Landscape and its Impact on Kids

    This panel will discuss the impacts on children of the current advertising landscape, including any harms stemming from children’s inability to distinguish advertising from other content. Panelists will discuss factors at different ages and developmental stages that could mitigate potential harms. The panel will set the stage for the following panel by exploring how best to address any harms.

    Moderator: 
    Michelle Rosenthal 
    Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission 

    Panelists: 
    James C. Cooper 
    Professor of Law and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy, 
    Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University 

    Josh Golin 
    Executive Director, Fairplay 

    Jennifer L. Harris 
    Senior Research Advisor, UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Health 

    Girard Kelly 
    Senior Counsel & Director, Privacy Program, Common Sense Media 

    Sheila A. Millar 
    Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP 

    1:45 pm

    Break

    2:00 pm

    Panel 3: Looking Forward and Considering Solutions

    This panel will discuss the current legal regime and challenges, and potential regulatory, self-regulatory, educational, and technological tools to protect children from blurred content in digital marketing and to mitigate any harmful effects of advertising on children.

    Moderator: 
    Michael Ostheimer 
    Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission 

    Panelists: 
    Josh Blumenfeld 
    Manager, Government Affairs and Public Policy, YouTube 

    Nellie Gregorian 
    President, Fluent Research 

    Genevieve Lakier 
    Professor of Law and Herbert and Marjorie Fried Teaching Scholar, 
    University of Chicago Law School 

    Bonnie Patten 
    Executive Director, Truth in Advertising 

    Sneha Revanur 
    Founder & President, Encode Justice 

    Lartease M. Tiffith 
    Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau 

    3:45 pm

    Closing Remarks 

    Serena Viswanathan 
    Associate Director, Division of Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission

FTC Privacy Policy

Under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) or other laws, we may be required to disclose to outside organizations the information you provide when you pre-register. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, and as a matter of discretion, we make every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments before posting them on the FTC website.

The FTC Act and other laws we administer permit the collection of your pre-registration contact information and the comments you file to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. For additional information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see the Commission’s comprehensive Privacy Policy.

This event is open to the public and may be photographed, videotaped, webcast, or otherwise recorded. By participating in this event, you are agreeing that your image — and anything you say or submit — may be posted indefinitely at ftc.gov or on one of the Commission's publicly available social media sites.