In today's world, advertisement is crucial as it calls for attention, provides information and makes people become aware that a given product exists in a particular place. As technology goes by, the mode of advertising keeps on changing from the posters, to magazines and newspapers to billboards and now to websites and other media programs. Owing to the fact that that sales volume depend on the amount spent on advertisement, and the increased use of internet as source of information, many companies producing children's' products have shifted to using websites to advertise. To prevent unfair competition and harmful information to children, U.S has enacted the Children Online Protection Act (COPPA).
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On the Munchies Sweets and Treats website (Munchies, 2011), American Pop Corn Company website named Jolly Time and Mrs. Fields cookies website, this are examples of sites for children. This articles use language of persuasion that attracts one's attention, helps the potential customer to establish trust and credibility hence stimulating desire for the variety of products and lastly they motivate people to act. An example of language of persuasion used in this websites is the association technique. This is where there is a statement that tries to link the products being advertised with something that is known to be desired by children of age below thirteen. To support this, on the Pop corn website, there is a statement 'Oh Yum!' to show how sweet the corn are. On the Mrs. Field's Cookies website, there is a statement '100% satisfaction guaranteed'.
These sites also use explicit claims as a language of persuasion. Under this, the varieties of products being sold are listed with their prices. The quality, reliability and ingredients of the products are also given. From the websites, all of them give the variety of the products they offer with nice pictures, the prices and how easily one can access them. Bandwagon mode of persuasion is also used. In the Mrs. Field's Cookies website, it is stated that one need to find why everyone from different part of the country are buying Mrs. Field's products (Cookies, 2011).
In all this sites, there exists privacy statements that children are able to understand easily. Like most of this products uses cartoons that are similar to cartoons that are quite popular to children. Example is little ducks in the Munchies website and Nibblers in Mrs. Field's website. But most of the statements being used in this websites are simple and easy to be understood by all children of various ages. From the three sites, there are no parts of them that are worrisome to the parents. The three sites uses simple and good clear language that is not offensive in any way. In the websites, the other websites advertised in them are all related to children and are in no way offensive either. The pictures used only make the children desire the products and they have images bearing funny cartoons that tends to friendly to children. Moreover, the children logging in the site must have consent from their parents.
These sites have in a great way followed the children's Online Privacy Protection Act by foremost; the members logging in to purchase who are children must submit a form signed by the parents through postal mail. The websites have put various ways to ensure they are dealing with the parents when their products are purchased. To support this, all these three sites only accept verified credit cards. They also only accept the emails that have been signed digitally by the parents, take calls made by parents only on the telephone number that is toll free. Lastly the emails sent must be accompanied by a password to verify they are from the parents' themselves. Some of these sites have been heavily penalized by COPPA for failing to follow the set laws. For instant, American Pop Corn Company and Mrs. Field's Cookies were fined in 2006 for failing to meet COPPA requirements.
These laws may only apply in America but they are directed to all websites that are directly focusing to the U.S children or those that knowingly take information from U.S children. Other countries have followed suite to protect children from been manipulated. A good example is Australia. With the continued use of internet, there is need for the COPPA requirements to be made global requirements to protect all children.