Parents Deluged with Web Buy Requests from Kids

A new industry survey says that 52 percent of children between the ages of 5
and 17 report they have asked their parents to purchase an item that they
have seen on the Web.

The survey from the online market research firm NFO Interactive also shows that parents are
indeed hearing those requests, as 46 percent of all parents report they have been
asked to purchase an item their children have seen on the Web.

The NFO Interactive Kids Online survey reports that today, one out of six
children is allowed to purchase items online, and one out of seven have
actually done so. Kids shop online, too. The No. 1 item on kids’ shopping
lists? CDs, tapes and albums.

“The Internet has always been the locus of young adults. Now it is
increasingly becoming the medium of choice for children and teenagers,” said
Charlie Hamlin, president of NFO Interactive.
“Companies seeking to convey the benefits of their products and services must
invest heavily in the Internet to ensure their competitiveness in the future
— even the near future.”

The report said children spend between five and seven hours online per week,
slightly more than the 4.2 hours per week that their parents believed.

For most children, the online world is a source of entertainment and fun —
though
many go online to do their homework. Here’s the breakdown of activities:

  • Homework or school projects (73%)
  • Play Games (70%)
  • Keep up to date about sports (30%)
  • Learn more about movies (26%)
  • Acquire information about television shows (25%)
  • Obtain news and current events (22%)

Nearly 85 percent of all parents have rules for their kids about providing e-mail
addresses or
personal information to others while online and more than 80 percent of all children
know that these rules exist. Yet, 42 percent of all children have subscribed to a
Web site or other service online.

Still, television continues to be the media of choice for children. While at
home, 42 percent of all children indicate they spend the most time watching
television, compared to talking with friends on the telephone (15%), surfing
the Web (10%), listening to the radio (10%), or reading books (9%).

Participants for the NFO Interactive survey were acquired from the
NFO//net.source, a representative online consumer panel consisting of more
than 450,000 individuals.

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