July 6, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Ads targeting children | There is no exclusive right in the metawars

Ads targeting children |  There is no exclusive right in the metawars

Gap Canada announced on Friday that it was advertising on Roblocks, a popular role-playing platform for elementary-aged children. However, the Consumer protection law Prohibits advertising aimed at children under 13 years of age.

Posted at 6:00 p.m.

Isabelle Dube

Isabelle Dube
Press

Gap Canada proudly on Friday merged Metawars into the Roblox online multiplayer gaming platform. The American brand has its own virtual store where young players behind their avatars can enjoy the juice bar, try on clothes, take photos and do fashion shows, the ad said.

The Gap Teen Virtual Store was also very busy on Friday evening during the visit Press.

Press screenshot

Avatar of other players around our journalist at the Gap Teen Store on Friday

Roblox‌ has more children

Although Gap Canada has stated that it wants to give “young people the opportunity to discover the world of Gap”, the Roblocks platform attracts children under the age of 13 with games such as the adoption of many small animals, house and character decorations. Virtual city. Roblox Corporation also indicates that by 2021, 54% of its customers will be under 13 years of age.

Press screenshot

Press Although the platform is intended for people 10 years and older, he was able to sign up for Roblox with 2016 as his birthday.

Roblox is also advertised for people 10 years and older. However, it was possible to register 2016 as the year of birth.

The law is clear

The Consumer protection law Prohibits advertising targeting children under the age of 13 not only on television, but also on the Internet and, consequently, on metawares.

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“The law states that any advertising for commercial purposes aimed at those under the age of 13 is prohibited,” said Alexandre Plord, a lawyer at Option Consometers. To find out if the ad is intended for children under 13, the context is assessed as to when or where it will appear. ⁇

“So a statement made primarily on a platform with children under the age of 13, allowing young people under the age of 13 to register directly, pursues a lawyer, who actually thinks it targets children under the age of 13. ⁇

The law makes it clear that even if an ad is aimed at teenagers and adults or aired during this viewing period intended for older audiences, it cannot be assumed that it is not intended for children.

Under a law enacted in the early 1970s, children could not tell the difference between information and promotion.

Since General Mills admitted to violating the law in 2009 with an online game inspired by Lucky Charms cereal, ads disguised as games have also come under scrutiny.

At the time, the food giant had to pay just $ 2,000 in fines.

Coca-Cola, which created the water feature in the soft drink Fanta colors in La Ronde in 2015, was fined more. Convicted, the multinational company had to pay a $ 27,664 fine to the Quebec government.

Advertising in the form of gifts is also not tolerated. He was fined $ 44,000 for distributing Igor cakes at daycare centers through Saputo. Saputo decided to plead guilty in 2009.

Press screenshot

The young players behind their avatars can enjoy the juice bar, dress up, take photos and do fashion shows in the Gap Virtual Store.

The law applies to any trader doing business in Quebec, even if its headquarters are overseas, recalls lawyer Option Consometers. “This company, Gap, does business in Canada, advertises to individuals in Canada, promotes goods or services in Canada, and is subject to applicable laws in each province.”

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If a complaint is made to the Consumer Protection Office and it leads to an investigation, Gap will have to pay a fine subject to criminal prosecution.