Key Takeaways

  • If the general audience of your web property is children protected under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), you are under strict rules about how you can run digital ads.
  • While COPPA rule can affect some of the more traditional ad monetization techniques, there are ways to stay compliant with COPPA and bring in plenty of revenue.
  • We've broken the process down into seven key steps.

If you're stuck on the old way of running digital ads, you probably think COPPA is no fun - that it's limiting your ability to bring in ad revenue as a children's publisher. And if you're letting COPPA's restrictions keep you from running ads, it certainly isn't any fun. 

The good news is there's a better way. There's a way to run revenue-boosting digital ads in line with COPPA restrictions. It's just a matter of following the rules and the seven steps we outline below. Read on to learn how to run digital ads in line with COPPA restrictions.

Pro tip: Skip to No. 7 to save yourself some time and stress. That's the step where Playwire connects your website or app with a purpose-built, COPPA-compliant revenue amplification platform. It's done-for-you COPPA compliance. Contact us to learn more.

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Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Guidelines for Advertising According to COPPA Laws

Check Your Privacy Policy

One of the first and most important requirements of COPPA is that children's content creators directly inform parents about how they collect children's personal information and what they do with the data they collect. 

A privacy policy isn't the only way to do that, but it is probably the most common and most efficient way. So, if you don't already have a privacy policy, you need to create one. And if you do have one, you need to read it and make sure it accurately describes your personal data collection and tracking practices (as well as that those practices are in line with COPPA restrictions).

Get Parental Consent for All Data Collection

This one is a big one and there's no way around it: If you want to collect identifying data about users who are younger than 13, you have to get consent from their parents. Considering the fact that parents very often forget to sign field trip permission slips, it's often a tall order to convince parents to willingly give up their kids' online privacy (and remember to sign the digital form making that happen).

Some publishers, however, make it work. They use advanced conversion techniques and strategies powered by cutting-edge consent management platforms (CMPs) to drive opt-ins. But more importantly, they offer value to parents who are willing to consent to have their children's data collected.

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COPPA Resource Center

The Complete COPPA Resource Center

Be Careful with Programmatic

Programmatic advertising is great. But for COPPA publishers, programmatic can be problematic. That's because it's mostly automatic, and that means improperly targeted ads or inappropriate creative can slip through the cracks to users protected by COPPA.

Unfortunately, avoiding programmatic altogether is likely to seriously slow down your growth. Programmatic advertising is a key source of ad revenue, after all. So, what are you supposed to do instead?

You have to invest in human-led programmatic advertising. You need a real person who understands COPPA in the driver's seat, making sure the practices and buyers operating in your sphere are COPPA-safe.

Avoid Consent-Based Barriers to Your Content

COPPA explicitly forbids making consent to data collection a barrier to users' ability to interact with your website or app content. So, don't do that. Don't block or withhold content from children whose parents won't or haven't yet consented to data collection.

Sure, each impression your website or app generated would be more profitable if you did it that way. But you'd not only be creating some ill will toward your brand among some of your key demographics, but you'd also be in violation of COPPA - the exact thing you're trying to avoid in the first place.

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COPPA Compliance Training for Publishers

COPPA Compliance Training for Publishers

Supplement with Direct Sales

Direct sales are a great answer to the problem of reduced programmatic revenue for COPPA publishers. That's because direct sales tend to come with premium CPMs and don't have to rely on tracking in the COPPA-unsafe sense that many programmatic deals have to.

So, either build or outsource a direct sales team and get the gears moving. Over time and with the right strategies in place, your revenue will improve.

Collect What You Can

Don't ever forget this: COPPA regulations don't forbid all data collection from children younger than 13. It just forbids the collection of much of the non-anonymous data that publishers typically collect and monetize. And it only forbids it in the event that you don't have parental consent to do so.

That means you need to push for parental consent and try different strategies to increase it. It also means you should collect all of the data that is technically allowed under COPPA. That might include anonymized video completions, clicks, impressions, time on site, and engagements. It's all valuable if you use it right.

Team Up with a COPPA-Compliant Revenue Partner

This is the easiest step - the one that lets you skip all of the other steps. It's not that the other steps are somehow not important. It's just that Playwire has built a platform that will take care of every step for you.

Quite simply, we understand COPPA monetization like nobody else in the space. With our global direct sales team, we bring in big brand dollars. And with our human-led programmatic juggernaut, we help your ad monetization strategy scale while you stay in perfect compliance with COPPA.

We've worked hard to build this thing so you don't have to stress about COPPA compliance or your ad strategy. Why not try it out? To get started, contact the Playwire team online.

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