A First of its Kind in Kenya

Akili Network’s Protective Advertising Policy

I get to spend the third Saturday of every month with my 7 year old nephew. This is also the one day of the month where I have a 7 year old ‘take charge of my life’ telling me what to do, where to eat, what to eat..the list is endless. As much as I may not want to comply to all his requests (most of which sound like demands), I cave in to pester power and do as he wishes; mostly for the sake of my peace of mind. 

For this reason, I am not surprised that children influence 90% of purchases in homes. I could definitely see how.  That is not all. According to a study conducted by Viacom, kids influence each step of the path to purchase. From the ‘do we need it’ phase, to exploring available options, to selecting the best option as well as deciding on the most appropriate time to make the purchase. 

It doesn’t stop there!

The study also revealed that parents spend almost 60% more when kids are involved in the purchase decision. I can attest to this! I know for sure that it is on this 3rd Saturday of the month, when I spend the most money. 

Clearly, children have a lot of influence on decisions made at home. The big question at this point is what informs these children’s decisions and preferences? Why would my nephew want me to get him a packet of crisps as opposed to an apple? And why would he want crisps from a certain brand as opposed to another?

Children, like the rest of us,  are largely shaped by their environment; what they see and hear.  In this age of technology and covid-19, kids now more than ever are spending numerous hours indoors watching TV or being on phones and laptops.  The kidfluence study by Viacom revealed that 87% of kids remember TV commercials. In addition, 77% of parents reported that their kids request them to buy the advertised products. Out of these, 73% go ahead and make the purchase.

That is how powerful and impactful advertising is in shaping and informing children’s perceptions and preferences.

According to a report by Capital FM, more children in Kenya are getting Diabetes due to unhealthy eating habits. The International Diabetes Federation Atlas, projects that the prevalence of Diabetes in both children and adults here in Kenya is likely to rise from 3.3% to 4.5% by 2025 if the trend is not checked.

The Covid-19 pandemic, has served as a reminder that our health is our wealth. We have seen the value of health and how vulnerable we can get when exposed to diseases. This is the opportune time for media houses to rethink their role in building a healthy nation.

Being a media house specially curated to cater to the needs of Kenyan children, we understand the immense responsibility we have in shaping and influencing the next generation. This is why we have a protective advertising policy. Granted, there are products that fall in gray areas. When it comes to this, we do make a point to run them by our internal Advertising Standards council who conduct research, and even reach out to health experts to help us make a sound decision that will ensure all the children, our children, stay safe. 

At Akili Network we believe that advertising of healthy foods can be done in a fun and creative way that will capture the interest of children, empowering them and their families to make healthier food choices.

Click here to acquaint yourself with our advertising policy.

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