Children’s Exposure to and Perceptions of Online Advertising

Helena Sandberg, Kerstin Gidlöf, Nils Holmberg


The popularity of the Internet and marketers’ increased investments in Internet advertising have raised some questions concerning a marketer’s power to influence children and young people’s consumption through new media technology. This article, based on a recent explorative study of 15-year-old Swedish teenagers, aims to discuss their exposure—potential, actual, and perceived—to online advertising. Eye movements of these teenagers were measured while surfing the Internet for 15 minutes. The results suggest that teenagers are exposed to 10% of all the potential advertisements, but they are mainly unaware of this actual exposure. Food advertisements had the highest impact in this study. Our research also indicates substantial gender differences in actual exposure to advertising. Boys are exposed between 30% and 60% more to advertisements in some categories (gambling, ad links, lifestyle and recreation) than girls.

Full Text: