The impact of digital marketing on children and youth in Croatia

REGION – Do children and young people notice ads on websites and social networks? Are they different from sponsored online content? Do they share their personal information online to access free content and encounter marketing content inappropriate for their age? The answers to these and similar questions were provided by a survey on the impact of digital marketing on children’s rights on the Internet, conducted as part of the cooperation between UNICEF and HURA! In the field of responsible marketing and advertising for children.

UNICEF for Croatia conducted a survey among children and young people in Croatia on whether they are aware of how digital marketing techniques work, whether they pay attention to marketing content while “surfing” the Internet and using social networks, and whether they are familiar with how to manage their privacy. the Internet. 1,092 young people from all Croatian counties participated in the survey, and most of them are aged 16 to 19 (75%).

At what age do children and young people in Croatia open profiles on social networks?
One of the most important results of the survey is that young people in Croatia open a profile on social networks at a very early age. Although children under the age of 13 are not allowed to open profiles on social networks, two thirds of respondents (61%) did so before that age limit. Of particular concern is the fact that 5% of participants opened a profile at the age of 7 or 8, and 16% at the age of 9 or 10.

Exposure of children to online marketing content
When it comes to exposing children to online marketing content, most survey participants (69%) noticed that they were sometimes followed by ads from websites they visited (behavioral ads or remarketing), and almost all participants (89%) noticed ads in mobile applications they use. More than half of children and young people (52%) distinguish between paid (sponsored) and standard texts on portals. However, one third of the participants (34%) did not know that there were paid texts on online portals, and one seventh of them did not distinguish them from standard texts at all (14%). When it comes to the influence of influencers on the consumer habits of children and young people, the survey showed that in the majority of respondents (88%) influencers who follow the Internet did not influence shopping.

Exposure of children to inappropriate marketing content on the Internet
In the context of inappropriate content to which children and young people are exposed, it is important to highlight those that affect their self-image and that may encourage them to engage in negative patterns of behavior. The results of the survey show that the majority of participants (57%) did not notice ads for adults on social networks and websites they visit. However, it is worrying that as many as one fifth of the participants in the survey noticed inappropriate advertisements, among which they specifically mention pornographic content and explicit photos, as well as alcoholic beverages, e-cigarettes, gambling and games of chance, etc.

More details about the survey results:

Source: HURA

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