Kids as Influencers - US - June 2011
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Also under heavy scrutiny are social media networks. While Facebook guidelines forbid children under the age of 13 from registering, it is very easy to circumvent the system. In fact, roughly one fifth of parents with kids aged 6-11 surveyed by Mintel say their kids use social networks like Facebook, and the share rises to almost one third for parents of kids 9-11 (see Items Kid Owns or Personally Uses). Despite the guidelines currently in place, these sites are attracting kids. Given the fact these members are clearly violating company policies, marketers would be wise to use caution with regard to connecting with kids via these sites or else risk creating an environment more conducive to legislative mandates. As it is, a May 2011 Congressional hearing with Facebook executives broached the subject of user privacy and children’s safety when accessing these types of sites, so the issue is already on lawmakers’ radar.
Consumer survey data
For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Toluna USA to explore the influence kids aged 6-11 have on household purchases and how effective they are at getting parents to buy them what they request. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted March 1–16, 2011, among a sample of 1,177 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet who have kids aged 6-11 living in their household.
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