Mass. Bill Targets Online Buzz Marketers|
A Democratic state representative in Massachusetts is introducing a bill aimed at shielding children from so-called buzz marketing.
The lawmaker, Michael E. Festa of Melrose, calls for children under 16 to obtain their parents' permission to participate in online "word-of-mouth" sales campaigns.
People participating in such word-of-mouth promotions, or buzz campaigns, receive merchandise in return for agreeing to market goods or services to friends by "word-of-mouth."
The legislation would address situations in which children receive free merchandise provided they ask others to use the products.
"In an era when an unprecedented number of children are being recruited by marketers to participate in online advertising campaigns, we need to protect our youth from unwanted solicitations and ensure that marketing messages are age-appropriate," Festa wrote in the prelude to his proposed law. "Doing so should require parental approval of all marketing practices and materials whenever children are employed by marketers."
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