Roblox is being eyed by the CARU (Children’s Advertising Review Unit) over some of its influencer-based advertising. The organization is self-regulatory and focuses on marketing directed at minors under the age of 13. It doesn’t just focus on games, but all types of media – although, with a large portion of Roblox’s player base being in that demographic, they’re going to draw attention from such groups.
Recently, CARU has been looking at advertising across the metaverse, and more specifically Roblox. During this, they’ve found the company to be in violation of some of their guidelines – typically in how paid influencers fail to properly disclose to their audience that they’re being paid to promote Roblox’s product. Even in the cases of those who do issue disclosures, CARU has found them to not be presented in ways that an audience of children will understand.
In a recent post on the BBB site, CARU listed three main points that they believe Roblox needs to address – along with related recommendations.
- Roblox did not adequately disclose to children when advertising is present within “experiences” on Roblox. CARU recommended that Roblox ensure that advertisements are clearly and conspicuously identified as ads in language and/or audio that children can see, hear, and easily understand.
- Roblox did not adequately disclose to children when content integrated into a video is advertising. CARU recommended that Roblox clearly and conspicuously disclose to children in language and/or audio that they can see, hear, and easily understand that the integrated content in the video is advertising.
- Roblox did not take adequate measures to ensure that social media influencers with child audiences adequately disclose material connections. CARU recommended that Roblox monitor their endorsers and influencers to ensure they are clearly and conspicuously disclosing their material connection to Roblox in a way that children can easily understand.
Interestingly, the report also states that Roblox states it has changed its advertising standards, and one of those changes does away with advertising to children under 13. This change requires developers to “programmatically identify advertising content” directed at children under 13 and use specific tools to assure children won’t see ads. This should be in place by June 15.
About the Author
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various gaming sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.
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