At SuperAwesome, we’re making the internet safer for kids. That mission extends beyond powering the kids digital media ecosystem with our kidtech solutions. As champions for kids’ digital safety, we also work to help agencies, brands, and developers protect children online through insights and educational resources.
Privacy laws around the world are complex, especially given the geographical fragmentation of regulations, and the rapid pace at which they’re evolving. That’s why we created the KidAware training program, purposefully designed to help the industry stay informed and achieve the best possible standards in digital kids marketing.
Interested in learning more about the program? We spoke with KidAware certified Miranda Abney, Senior Director, Marketing at got milk?, about her views on kids’ privacy regulations, changes in the food advertising landscape, and more. Read the full interview below.
What is the biggest challenge the advertising industry is facing right now when it comes to ensuring kids’ digital safety?
Children and families are at the forefront of our work at got milk? We create interesting and fun experiences for kids that inspire them to drink and enjoy milk. For example, our Mess with your Milk campaign encourages children to get interactive with fun, DIY experiments featuring milk as the main ingredient. The campaign will continue into Halloween this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing just how creative kids can be!
To make activations like this happen, we rely on many different internal and external teams, which presents some challenges. Because our work reaches young audiences, it’s essential that we’re communicating with them in a safe and responsible way. Everyone needs to be on the same page and understand how to get it right in accordance with privacy laws like Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In an already complicated landscape, we also need to consider guidance from self-regulatory organizations like the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) to assure that we’re promoting our products appropriately and responsibly.
How do you stay ahead of kids’ privacy regulation and industry self-regulation?
The laws and regulations are changing quickly, so staying ahead is crucial. In addition to our in-house and outside counsel, we advocate for our team to self-educate by following trade publications, and seeking virtual and in person learning opportunities. We also rely on smart agency partners to guide us in the right direction. And, of course, our relationship with SuperAwesome is instrumental. It’s helpful to have a consultative partner that has such a practical and informed perspective on the kids’ privacy landscape. These relationships empower us to connect with kids and families while having the peace of mind that all of our current and future campaigns will be 100% brand- and kid-safe.
How has your team historically felt about kids compliance and safety? Terrified? Bored? Confident?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other regulators are becoming more assertive in pursuing breaches of kids’ privacy laws to protect children online. But this can be worrisome – we can all make mistakes, even if we are well-intentioned, if there’s a lack of awareness or confusion around legal requirements. Although it was daunting at first, expanding our knowledge and staying up to date on the latest kids privacy laws, through programs like KidAware and other resources, has given us the confidence to execute more exciting and effective activations to engage kids and families.
Do you have any tips for translating compliance best practices into things your team can implement day-to-day?
It’s important to recognize that the kids’ digital privacy landscape has really matured in the last few years, likely with many more advancements in regulation and guidance coming. Fostering a culture that supports learning and seeking expert guidance is much more effective than hiding behind the fear of missteps. We embrace this philosophy at got milk? Staying up to date on the latest compliance news provides useful context. Even examples of what not to do, such as newsworthy breaches, can teach us valuable lessons. We also take advantage of industry webinars and reports, including SuperAwesome’s kid insights.
“It’s important to recognize that the kids’ digital privacy landscape has really matured in the last few years, likely with many more advancements in regulation and guidance coming. Fostering a culture that encourages learning and seeking expert guidance is much more effective than hiding behind the fear of missteps.”
What was the most interesting, valuable, or surprising thing your team learned from KidAware?
Very often, there aren’t black and white answers when it comes to appropriateness and safety, especially as new platforms and formats emerge that resonate with today’s kids. You have to rely on best practices to inform your own compliance strategy, and that strategy needs to be agile. To that point, we encourage our team to revisit the KidAware training program on an ongoing basis. In such a fast-changing landscape, no matter how many times you’ve gone through the program, it’s surprising how much you can learn!
To learn more about KidAware, including how to get certified, or to arrange a training session for your team, partners, or clients, get in touch today.