Minors as Content Creators: A Study of the Effectiveness of Advertising Regulation in the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain


  • Esther Martínez Pastor Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
  • Rodrigo Cetina Presuel Harvard University. United States
  • Isabel Serrano Maíllo Universidad Complutense de Madrid


minors, YouTube, commercial content, legal criteria, privacy


This paper analyzes the degree of compliance with advertising regulation related to content created by or aimed at underage people on YouTube. Research was done using content analysis on a sample of 463 videos that were published on the YouTube platform in the period from 2016 to 2020. Videos were selected from the channels of the 15 most popular children’s YouTubers, according to their position on the Social Blade Ranking, which originated from the United States, the United Kingdom, or Spain. The main objective of the study was to determine whether the videos disclose that they are about commercial content and whether this is done in accordance with laws in force. In addition, it was researched whether personal data were requested for promotional purposes. The article shows how despite the existence of advertising regulation in all of the researched countries, compliance is minimal regarding the identification of advertising content as such.