The Development and Testing of a Child-inspired Advertising Disclosure to Alert Children to Digital and Embedded Advertising

Steffi De Jans*, Ini Vanwesenbeeck, Veroline Cauberghe, Liselot Hudders, Esther Rozendaal, Eva A. van Reijmersdal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Via three studies, this article aims to develop and test an advertising disclosure which is understandable for children (ages six to 12 years old) and which can alert them to different types of advertising in multiple media formats. First, cocreation workshops with 24 children (ages eight to 11 years old) were held to determine a selection of disclosure designs based on insights from the target group. Second, two eye-tracking studies among 32 children (ages six to 12 years old) were conducted to test which of these disclosure designs attracted the most attention when the disclosures were integrated into a media context. These studies led to the selection of the final advertising disclosure: a black rectangular graphic with the word Reclame! (i.e., Dutch for "Advertising!) in yellow letters. Finally, a two-by-two, between-subjects experimental study (disclosure design: existing versus child-inspired advertising disclosure; advertising format: brand placement versus online banner advertising) with 157 children (ages 10 and 11 years old) was performed to test the effectiveness of the child-inspired disclosure by comparing it with existing ones. This study not only showed that children recognized, understood, and liked the child-inspired disclosure better than the existing ones, but they were also better able to recognize advertising after exposure to this child-inspired advertising disclosure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-269
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of advertising
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Sponsorship Disclosure
  • Persuasion Knowledge
  • Targeting Children
  • Brand Responses
  • Advergames
  • Literacy
  • Placement
  • Consumer
  • Defences
  • Tactics


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