Exploring Popular Children Websites - Only Fun and Games?
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This study examined two categories of websites (food and non-food) targeted towards children. A content analysis of 22 popular food and non-food websites investigated commercial/non-commercial content, time spent on the websites and a traffic based ranking gathered from Alexa.com, a website collecting data on websites and publishing website rankings. Chi square tests showed significant differences between both website categories. The majority of food website content was commercial in the form of product placements and advertisements. Most non-food websites consisted mainly of entertainment elements like games and contests. Only little content of the analysed websites was informative. The study answers calls for research investigating advertising to children on the web and provides a unique snapshot of popular food and non-food websites targeted towards children. Furthermore the study raises important questions regarding advertising regulation on children’s websites and presents opportunities for marketers.
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