New media literacy campaign teaches ‘tweens’ about advertising

SiteofWeek042810Advertising to American kids is nothing new—but now the internet and social media have taken kids’ exposure to advertising to new levels: Ads are virtually everywhere. That’s why the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, is launching a new campaign, called Admongo, that aims to educate “tweens” (kids ages 8 to 12) about advertising, so they can become more discerning consumers of information. The goal of the campaign is to boost advertising literacy by raising awareness of advertising and marketing messages; teaching critical-thinking skills that will allow tweens to better analyze and interpret advertisements; and demonstrating the benefits of being an informed consumer. The centerpiece of this multimedia campaign is a new web site,, that teaches core ad literacy concepts through game play. Other elements of the campaign include in-school curricula that are tied to state standards of learning; sample ads that can be used at home and in the classroom; and teacher training videos. Although the campaign focuses on helping tweens analyze commercial messages, the critical-thinking skills it teaches can help them evaluate non-commercial messages, too, the FTC says—including editorial content and literature.

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