EU Consumer Protection and Data Privacy Authorities Adopt 5 Key Principles for Fair Advertising to Children

On June 14, 2022, representatives of the EU’s Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Network, together with several national data protection authorities in the EU and the secretariat of the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), endorsed five key principles for fair advertising to children (see press release here).  These recommendations are based on relevant requirements in EU data and consumer protection laws.

According to the authorities, this joint initiative arises from the proliferation of digital business models that increasingly rely on the use of personal data for commercial purposes, which may be subject to specific rules under both data privacy and consumer protection legislation in Europe. 

In their joint statement, the authorities cited research indicating that children (defined as any individual below the age of 18 years old) are unable able to recognize certain forms of advertising — particularly ads that are deeply embedded in the context of digital media and online games — and as a result, they are particularly susceptible to certain forms of advertising potentially inappropriate for children.  Therefore, the authorities published these key principles for businesses to apply in order to (1) avoid practices that can be harmful for children and (2) better inform children about when and how their data is used for advertising purposes.

The five advertising principles are:

Take into account the specific vulnerabilities of children when designing advertising or marketing techniques that are likely to target children (in particular, do not deceive or unduly influence them, and consider whether certain types of personalized

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