Brussels: TikTok bombs children with hidden advertising

TikTok should stop hidden and aggressive advertising aimed at children, the European Commission believes. Brussels wants the hugely popular app to comply with EU consumer protection rules. The Chinese company behind the app gets one month to change its policy, says Commissioner Reynders.

The European consumer organisation BEUC has received complaints about hidden advertising on TikTok. Users of the social media platform are seduced by influencers to participate in so-called challenges and other activities. There are often commercial interests behind this.

Also, with a few actions in the app, children on TikTok can easily access inappropriate videos, says BEUC. Earlier this year, the Dutch Consumers Association also said that TikTok should better protect children.

More risk due to corona

Commissioner for Justice Reynders points out that it is forbidden for companies to target children and minors with disguised advertising.

Reynders also says that the coronapandemic has accelerated digitisation and that this poses risks, especially for vulnerable consumers.