Victory: Pokemon GO won’t send kids to sponsors’ locations

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
David Monahan

CCFC members demanded that children be protected from sneaky marketing when playing Pokemon GO, and got results!

Pokemon GO, produced by Niantic, Inc., is a location-based augmented reality (“AR”) game, where players visit specific real world places in order to capture virtual creatures. While some of these places are parks and landmarks, others are paid for by advertisers to entice game players into their brick and mortar locations. In the U.S., Starbucks and Sprint are among the companies that have sponsored “PokeStops and Pokemon Gyms.” Starbucks entices game players with a purple Pokemon GO Frappucino loaded with fat and sugar. And when the game launched in Japan, all McDonald’s restaurants became Pokemon gyms – and further lured kids with Pokemon toys in Happy Meals.

More than 7,300 people signed petitions hosted by CCFC and our partners at Corporate Accountability International demanding that kids under 13 be excluded from this insidious marketing ploy of directing players to paid sponsors’ stores.

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