Sites like Moshi Monsters, Everloop and Togetherville are becoming increasingly popular amongst kids, pulling in huge amounts of traffic and investment cash. Just like adults, children are now beginning to forge relationships and social experiences online. However, advertising on these sites is non-existent.
Given the guidelines and bans on advertising to children in the UK this is not completely surprising. In 2006 junk food ads during TV programmes targeted at under-16s were banned, under rules put forward by regulators. However the rules in many states in the US are more relaxed.
Moshi Monsters expects to have 70 to 80 million members in 200 countries by the end of the year. Rebecca Newton, Chief Community and Safety Officer commented to Ad Age, 'Believe me, we get asked to incorporate branding and advertising all the time. But its complicated. When kids tell their friends they just had a mocha latte at Starbucks, they don't understand that now Starbucks has their name and knows they went to a Starbucks in Des Moines on Third Street on Thursday and had a mocha latte and they start getting coupons for 20 mocha lattes".