Mobile Advergames Ethics
Below is a presentation I’ve recently given at a research seminar at Hull University Business School. It is, to some degree, a follow up from the original Advergame paper we did a few years back. This times though, we looked at how food marketers are living up to their own, self-set standards for interactive/digital advertising when it comes to designing games for mobile phones.
Unfortunately, we found that most games completely ignored the guidelines that leading marketers have set themselves as part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. This is certainly not a ringing endorsement to the powers of self-regulation – but also questionable if it is in the (longterm) interest of the marketers. Unethical business practices have in the past led to much more stringent regulation, e.g. in relation to advertising on television. Do marketers want to take a similar path when it comes to digital content?