July 10th, 2014
In our book Consumer Kids we exposed the practice of companies using children to sell to their friends.
The Advertising Association finally created a Pledge http://www.adassoc.org.uk/write/Brand%20Ambassadors%20and%20Peer-to-Peer%20Marketing%20Pledge.pdfhttp:// and encouraged their members to sign up.
L’Oreal (owner of The Bodyshop) were one of the first signatories to promise that they would not use under 16s in peer-to-peer marketing.
The advertising regulators (CAP) decided that this pledge was strong enough and the practice so infrequent that there was no need to regulate the practice although they do signpost the pledge on their website and indicate that it is not acceptable http://www.cap.org.uk/~/media/Files/CAP/Help%20notes%20new/Brand%20Ambassadors%20and%20Peer-to-Peer%20Marketing%20Help%20Note.ashx
Yet here is a very big brand using school fetes and Facebook to put pressure on 12 and 13 year olds to host parties where they sell to their friends.