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Kids can't tell ads from the truth online

Kids can't tell ads from the truth online
image courtesy of shutterstock

Day after day, parents work with their kids to teach them the difference between lies and the truth. But there are some things parents can't control. In a digital world, kids are exposed to media everywhere they go, and a recent study revealed the effect that's having.

Ofcom, a company that regulates TV and radio sectors in the United Kingdom, conducted a survey that found Internet ads are confusing kids. According to the survey, 69% of kids between ages 12 and 15 can't tell the difference between a Google search ad and an organic search result.

The study didn't stop there. Overall, it analyzed kids between ages 3 and 15 to gain insight to their attitudes and understanding of media use. It also evaluated how parents feel about their kids' use of media, and how they choose to monitor it.

Based on the results, Ofcom claims Google is not doing enough to distinguish sponsored ads and organic search results. Only 16% of kids ages 8 to 11 could tell if they were seeing an ad or a search query result. And considering how eager children are to believe what they see, this statistic is alarming parents.

Next page: More surprising results from the survey
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