Marketing influence towards children


The text explores influencing marketing towards children. The text mainly emphasis fameous soccer players as influencers. The purpose of this research is to determine the legitimacy the influencer marketing have and its legality. The study focuses on marketing influencing towards a younger and an immature audience. The methods conducted in this research have been information gathering through relevant sources. It have also been conducted primary and secondary research.  Results indicate that marketing influencing over international platforms such as Instagram and Facebook is legal, but it can be argued that it breaches ethical guidelines since some countries have laws preventing such marketing on a national basis.

What impact do sport influencers have on Children, and is the influence legal?

When I was a teenager in the late 2000s and early 2010s my heroes were famous soccer players in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. For me this players represented a dream, a passion and a lifestyle I think almost every young boy could and can relate to. As normal people grow older, the idolisation of people slowly starts to fade as the realities of grown up life kicks in. As I have become an adult, I am in a much better position to better think rationally when I see PR/influencer campaigns from the players I used to adore. When I was younger the influencer campaigns on social media was more or less non existing but some superstars such as David Beckham managed to sell me his expensive Perfume and deodorant, well technically he didn’t sell it to me, my parents had to pay for it. But that raises an interesting question regarding the ethics of the modern soccer player.

Where is it illegal?

Is the market influencing posts directed to minors legal? In countries such as the UK, Denmark and Belgium direct advertising towards children is strongly restricted, it is however fully illegal in Norway and the Canadian state of Quebec to advertise to children under the age of 12. It have also been created a European Union guideline rules for advertising towards children.

Some of the guidelines is

Guideline number 1: It shall not directly encourage minors to persuade their parents or others to purchase the goods or services being advertised

Guideline number 2:  Product placement is not allowed in children’s programs.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influencer post for soccer shoes worth 400$

I therefore raise the question why we are so liberal towards Instagram influencers. This Instagram post displays the soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo promoting in a paid advertisement for Nike, to sell their new 400$ soccer boots. To break down the audience of this advertisement. The Instagram account is followed by 161 million followers, with a large portion being adolescents and children I assume. It was not any statistics on this available. In the paid partnership advertisement showed above the paragraph it is clear that the laws for advertisement towards children is broken in many countries. The European advertisement laws taken into consideration, the Ronaldo advertisement does defiantly have a strong appeal to an underage audience.  Despite his Instagram channel not being classified as a children program, it can be drawn parallels between both, and as mentioned earlier, product placement in children programs is illegal.

Where is the integrity?

We can argue all day about the legitimacy and whether or not this influencing campaigns are legal or not. A topic I also think needs to be discussed is the ethical standards the soccer stars are showing by participating in the campaigns. A most notable argument from a player would be that the amount of money involved was too great to decline, and that might be true for some players. But dipping into Cristiano Ronaldo’s net worth, which by the way is estimated to be a staggering 450 million USD, we can argue that he would be able to keep an average lifestyle without deals with Nike. I have never heard about respected journalists receiving money for PR purposes, or Politicians receiving donations without being labelled as corrupt or power abuse.  

What can be done?

The amount of influencing material which is posted daily on social media is hard to control. The fact that social media is used in all the five continents of the world makes it even more difficult to control. I do however think that the world community should better cooperate and great common standards for what content that should be deemed as acceptable and in general make influencing marketing more restrict. Several nationwide organisations have been created before in order to better control certain areas of global affairs. Examples of this is the United Nations, World trade organisation, and the world health organisation. Now as marketing and advertising is conducted on a global scale over social media, perhaps it is time to create a global marketing organisation that can create common guidelines.

Do you guys share my opinion? If yes, What actions do you think should be made to better address the issue?. Please Like and comment my post

Stian Michael Nilsen Prestin