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Targeting kids through social media July 20, 2009

Posted by BCME UK in Family entertainment, PR, Social media, Toys & Games.
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by Sophie

A more serious look at our roles and responsibilities as PR’s

I held an internal TNT (Thursday night training) session this week on targeting kids through social media.  It was an interesting one as we work for various toy/kids/family clients and essentially, we are running their entire online ‘conversational PR’ activities.  As we all know, at the moment the rules and regulations on reaching out to kids using social media tactics are extremely unclear and the lines are blurred.

In June 2008, a new legislation under the snappy banner of “Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations” was introduced.  Although the legislation puts in place several significant new protections for consumers and, in effect, imposes new restrictions on marketers including things like flogging (fake blogging) and clamping down on spam, it doesn’t seem to be completely obvious where the lines begin and end.

Although this is something that will take a while to resolve, we are all in agreement that the key word here is ‘responsible’.  Whilst the legislation might not stop those out there who are already abusing the system, we all have a part to play  in ensuring that brands (and the people behind them) lead the way in being transparent, legal and honest in their communications.  The benefits that the marketing industry can gain from social media will only be realized if everyone involved adopts responsible practices.

As PR professionals that aim to be ethical and ensure we’re not crossing any lines – it’s important that, whilst a clear legislation is lacking, it’s up to each individual agency to create their own best practice guides for all to follow.

Watch this space for further updates/developments as we track them.

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