University of Bath

Advergames: It’s not child’s play

An IPR Policy Brief that reviews the latest research evidence on the use of advergames and their effects on children.

Following the Bailey Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood (2011), David Cameron asked the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to consider whether more should be done to spell out the commercial intent of ‘advergames’ to young people and their parents. Advergames are electronic games that are used to advertise a product, a brand or an organisation. They are accessible on social media sites, companies’ own websites and as downloadable content or apps on mobile devices. This Policy Brief, by Dr Haiming Hang (University of Bath, School of Management) and Professor Agnes Nairn (EM-Lyon Business School), reviews the latest research evidence on what we do and don’t know about the use of advergames and their effects on children, and makes recommendations for industry and regulators. It draws on a more detailed report by the same authors, commissioned by the Family and Parenting Institute (2012).