Children spend a tremendous number of hours online these days watching kids their age play video games on YouTube. The videos of these young stars, also called ‘kidfluencers’, have become an essential avenue for marketers to advertise games and merchandise. However, the game promotions of these kidfluencers can easily deceive children, as the paid collaboration with companies is not always properly disclosed. Therefore, this article aims to investigate if the European advertising regulations sufficiently protect children against misleading promotions in the videos of kidfluencers. It starts by analysing the effectiveness of kidfluencer marketing and its applicable European advertising legislation. After this analysis, it shows that the current regulations of kidfluencer marketing require a European approach that harmonizes the use of advertising disclosures and YouTube’s responsibility regarding commercial communication.
Full paper here.