More than chatting online: Children, marketing and the use of digital media

Ilana Snyder, Colin Jevons, Mark Gabbott*, Michael Henderson, Denise Beale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While schools have taught media literacy for many years, new challenges are raised by the growth of digital media and the sophistication of marketing techniques aimed at children. In response to a moral panic over the dangers posed by new media, schools have focused on cyber-safety education to reduce the incidence of phenomena such as cyber-bullying. However, also requiring attention are new platforms such as smart phones and tablets that enable marketing campaigns to target children with personalised messages even more covertly than before. This article examines how digital technologies and marketing are entwined in the everyday lives of children by drawing on the findings of an exploratory cross-disciplinary study of three grade 6 students in a primary school located in Melbourne's south-east. The findings indicate that educational understandings of how marketers collect and use data through digital channels for commercial purposes are limited. Further research is needed to examine the impact on children of digital marketing in social media spaces where digital profiling, data mining and peer-to-peer endorsements of products are rife. Such research will inform English teachers' work aimed at building children's critical marketing literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalEnglish in Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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