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Rubicon Project, the public ad tech company, has formed a partnership with “kid-safe” marketing platform SuperAwesome to create what they are claiming is the world’s first kid-focused programmatic advertising exchange.
The launch of “REX” means that marketers can now use Rubicon’s automated tools to buy advertising to target children under the age of 13 online – with the guarantee that the ads they buy are safe and legal.
To date, the entire online children’s advertising market operated on a direct-deal basis, meaning advertisers couldn’t use programmatic tools to buy ads targeted to children across a range of sites – they’d have to speak to each publisher’s sales teams directly.
In the US, the Federal Trade Commission introduced COPPA (The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) in 2000, which places strict restrictions on marketing to children under the age of 13, particularly prohibiting the use of using behavioral data to target kids.
Joshua Wohle, SuperAwesome’s chief product officer, told Business Insider: “Programmatic in the conventional sense (data/profile-driven) is not possible in the under-13 space: There have been zero under-13 targeting options, nobody is doing this. With REX, we’re enabling buyers to specifically target this audience based on the contextual first-party data we have associated with all of the publishers which run our AwesomeAds technology.”
SuperAwesome was founded in the UK in 2013 and has raised $7 million in funding. The company claims its ad platform reaches more than 250 million children each month and its client list includes brands such as Nintendo, Lego, and Warner Bros.
In June, InMobi became the first mobile ad network to be punished by the FTC under COPPA after it was found to be tracking the geolocation of children without their parental consent, AdExchanger reported. InMobi was fined $950,000, lowered from an initial $4 million penalty, due to the company’s “financial condition.”
Here’s a diagram explaining how The Rubicon Project and SuperAwesome’s REX will work: