Need Another Reason To Be Upset About BusRadio?

March 9, 2009
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Listen to xxxxxxx xxxxxx pitch a gaming website to six-year-olds. [ from BusRadio’s elementary school radio program ]

 

From: Jim Metrock

This stinks.

Elementary schoolchildren forced to listen to BusRadio are being told by BusRadio’s DJ to visit Nexon.net.

This is why "kiddie marketers" like BusRadio make most people sick at their stomachs.

Elementary school kids know the DJ just by "Mat." Mat never gives the kids his last name, but he is xxxxxxx xxxxxx a drive-time DJ from Milwaukee. xxxxxx has cleaned up his act for his BusRadio gig, but using his position of trust to pitch advertisers’s products and services to children just out of kindergarten is as dirty as you can get. xxxxxx is in his mid-thirties and he should know better than to try to trick young children. The audio file above documents how BusRadio is using the friendly BusRadio DJ, whose voice the riders have come to associate with authority, to pitch Nexon interactive, online games to children as young as six.

To understand my outrage at this you have to understand what Nexon is all about.

Nexon is a South Korean online game company that is trying to get better established with American children.

The company lures kids to the site by telling them the games are free. Children listening to BusRadio believe Nexon is free because Mat, the goofy and lovable DJ says it’s free.

You and I know better. Free games are just the bait. Nexon makes money, and a ton of it, by selling virtual items in their games that are not available in the free version. They relentlessly inform players of the things THEY DON’T HAVE.

This concept may be foreign to you, but it’s a fairly clever way to extract money from children.

This is what BusRadio hopes happens: A second grade student hears over and over again, day after day on the way to school and on the way to home, voices on the school-approved BusRadio show telling him to "GO TO NEXON.NET!" The child asks his parents if he can check out the site. "It’s OK, Mom. Our school says its OK. All my friends are playing."

The child then has to sign up before playing the free game. Look at the information this company wants from elementary students. Already the game is not free. A child or parent has to give up valuable personal information in order to play the game. Notice that the box indicating you want to receive more information is already checked. A child or teen may not realize that Nexon has just added their email address to their database. There is economic value to that email address.

Once our BusRadio-riding, second grader starts playing he notices that his free character doesn’t look like other people’s characters. Other players have nifty looking clothes and can do more more things. Other players have bought really cool items by spending Nexon Cash (called NX).

Here is an example of what you can buy with Nexon Cash which takes real cash (credit cards or PayPal) to buy.

 

See the "Glowy Patterned Cap" above? If our player wanted to have that put on his character’s head it would cost him $3.00. No joke. One dollar buys a player only 1,000 points (see below). BusRadio knows how expensive this "free" game can be for its listeners, yet they have been advertising this controversial company since last year.

 

Think I might be overstating the problem with Nexon? Here is a news report from Los Angeles about a Nexon game called Maplestory. Guess which game BusRadio is urging children to play? You guessed it.

 

Below: From BusRadio’s web site:

 

Now xxxxxxx xxxxxx and the rest of the remaining employees may be laughing their heads off as Nexon keeps sending BusRadio money to run more and more commercials for their online game site, but parents are not going to be laughing when they find out about this advertiser. It might take some time for parents in Marietta, GA, Colorado Springs, CO, and Angleton, TX to find out about this, but they will. I have seen it happen every time. Once parents find out about BusRadio, BusRadio is sent packing.

 

Oh, one more thing. When the youngster signs up for a Nexon account, as you saw above, they have to check a box that says they agree to the "Terms of Use" and the "Privacy Statement." A site aimed at teens and very young children should have very few terms and very readable language. Not here. This company’s privacy policy is awful. It is clear Nexon wants personal information from children. They can make money from this valuable information. They state that "third parties" may be given a child’s personal information. That should be totally unacceptable to parents.

BusRadio should be filtering out advertisers like this company. BusRadio should be more cautious in choosing its advertisers.

TAKE ACTION: Parents may not be able to get rid of Nexon.net, but they can get rid of BusRadio.

 

Click here to read Nexon’s outragous PRIVACY STATEMENT.

Click here to read Nexon’s outragous TERMS OF USE.