It seems the internet is now a growing source of ‘pester power’, as children are beginning to ask parents for toys they have seen online.

A survey, by cashback shopping website GreasyPalm.co.uk has shown the growing influence of children’s’ online activity on the terrible business of parent-pestering. 

In the survey of 1,200 parents, 27% said they had been harassed by their children to buy toys they had seen on the internet.

It gets worse for parents of ‘tweens’ – children aged between 9 and 14 – with 37% feeling that their kids were pestering them as a result of internet browsing. 73% believe the internet has increased the effect of ‘pester power’.

GreasyPalm Marketing Director Neil Durrant thinks that pester power will worsen as internet access increases: 

“As internet security gradually improves and more children are given online access, they will naturally become exposed to an increased number of marketing messages, which Tweens, especially, are susceptible to.” 

“In addition to online marketing messages, Tweens are now under more influence from their peers with the growth of social networking, shaping their material wants quite significantly, bringing this to bear on their parent’s purchasing decisions.”

Online marketers are restricted in targeting children online by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. However many ad campaigns are not well targeted and inappropriate advertising to children remains a concern within the industry.

Online advertising to kids often takes the form of immersive games and contests,  built around brands and characters from popular TV channels. According to Nielson/NetRatings, Nick.com pulled in $9.6 million in ad revenue in 2004.