To help kids understand advertising, the Federal Trade Commission is launching an ad literacy campaign at the game site Admongo.gov. Geared to 8- to-12-year-olds, the Admongo curriculum helps teachers and parents "ad-ucate" kids, using fictional spots as teaching tools. Users are shown how to assess ads and become informed consumers.
The online game at Admongo.gov allows kids to create an avatar and features four levels: The Atrium, Assemblimater, Planadtarium and Adgitator. Each enhances critical facilities -- from identifying ad claims to determining how advertising is targeted. Players learn to analyze various product pitches.
The made-up products are based on real ones, such as Choco Crunch cereal and Cleanology acne medication.
Because advertising to children is so ubiquitous, David C. Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated: "It's important to teach them how to apply critical thinking skills to the ads they see. The resources at Admongo.gov help kids figure out who's responsible for ads, what ads are saying and what ads want their target audiences to do."
The site has the blessing of C. Lee Peeler, president/CEO of the National Advertising Review Council, who told The New York Times it would "teach kids how to swim in the ocean of advertising, yet takes "a straightforward approach that does not go a step further and demonize advertising."
Fleishman-Hillard, a PR agency owned by Omnicom, helped the FTC create the Admongo site.