Developmental antecedents to children's responses to online advertising

Wonsun Shin, Jisu Huh, Ronald J. Faber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Children with higher skepticism towards online advertising, who spend less time using the Internet, and who perceive lower levels of confidence about their Internet skills are more likely to have negative attitude towards online advertising and less likely to disclose personal information to online marketers. Among the four examined predictors, the most influential predictor of children's attitude towards online advertising was online ad skepticism. However, a mediarelated variable (perceived Internet competency) was more important than skepticism in explaining the information disclosure willingness. This study's findings emphasise the important role of various socialisation agents, particularly parents and educators, in contributing to children's consumer socialisation and safer interactions with online ads. Parents should take an active role in fostering persuasion knowledge and greater ad skepticism in children and in monitoring children's Internet use and online activities. For more effective and strategically focused communication between parents and children, such communication should involve parents' helping children question their self-confidence in their ability to safely use the Internet and talking about specific invasive tactics used by online marketers. Another, perhaps much easier, paternal intervention strategy for influencing children's attitude towards online advertising can be monitoring and limiting children's time spent on the Internet. For practitioners, this study highlights the importance of considering various cognitive development and social learning factors in explaining and predicting children's perceptual and behavioural responses to new forms of online advertising.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-740
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


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