UK to clamp down on “adult” marketing for children

Monday, 13 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters): Prime Minister David Cameron has given his backing to plans to shield children from the spread of sexualised imagery in magazines, advertising and music videos.

Cameron said a report into the sexualisation of children by Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers’ Union charity, represented “a giant step forward for protecting childhood and making Britain more family-friendly”. The Bailey report recommends that steamy pop videos be restricted to later television slots and magazines featuring sexualised images covered up on shelves.

It also wants a new website to be created for parents to complain about inappropriate marketing.

Bailey’s report took evidence from more than 2,000 parents, 500 young people and 120 organisations over a six-month period.

Cameron said some of the proposals were a matter for regulators rather than government but agreed with the “central approach” that the report set out.

He said he would summon retailers, broadcasters, magazine editors and music industry chiefs to a meeting at Downing Street in October to discuss progress.

In response to demands for restrictions on inappropriate children’s clothing, including lace lingerie and padded bras for pre-teens, the British Retail Consortium has issued a tougher code of conduct.

Major high street stores including Asda, Argos, Debenhams, John Lewis, Next, Marks & Spencer, Peacocks, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have already agreed to comply.