Curbs on marketing and media proposed by childhood review

Children's minister Sarah Teather: ‘looking forward’ to helping implement proposals
Children's minister Sarah Teather: ‘looking forward’ to helping implement proposals

The long-awaited Bailey review on the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood has called for a number of clampdowns that will have a direct impact on the marketing and media sectors.

Proposals include banning under 16s from peer-to-peer marketing activity, covering up front-page sexualised press images and restricting the placement of risqué outdoor ads.

The review published today, which was authored by Reg Bailey, chief executive of Christian charity Mothers’ Union, is the result of a six-month process. It highlights what Bailey describes as ‘an increasingly sexualised "wallpaper"' surrounding children.

The recommendations in the review include:

  • Providing parents with a single website to make it easier to complain about any programme, advert, product or service – an idea mooted in the Conservative and Labour parties' 2010 election manifestos
  • Putting age restrictions on music videos to prevent children buying sexually explicit videos and guiding broadcasters over when to show them.
  • Covering up sexualised images on the front pages of magazines and newspapers so they are not in easy sight of children.
  • Making it easier for parents to block adult and age-restricted material from the internet by giving customers a choice at the point of purchase over whether they want adult content on their home internet, laptops or smart phones.
  • Retailers signing up to the British Retail Consortium’s new guidelines on age-appropriate clothes for children.
  • Restricting outdoor adverts containing sexualised imagery near schools, nurseries and playgrounds - expected to fall within the ASA's remit
  • Giving greater weight to the views of parents in the regulation of pre-watershed TV about what is suitable for children to watch.
  • Banning the employment of children under 16 as brand ambassadors and in peer-to-peer marketing, and improving parents’ awareness of advertising and marketing techniques aimed at children.

Bailey said: ‘Parents need encouragement to feel they can change things and that their voices will be heard. Regulators, businesses and broadcasters should do more to connect with parents – it’s not enough for them to work out what is acceptable from what people complain about afterwards.’

Children’s minister Sarah Teather said she was ‘looking forward’ to helping implement Bailey’s proposals: ‘It is not Government's role to interfere in family life. But parents often tell me that they would like more support so that they can navigate the rapidly-changing technological and commercial world. Reg's review shows the way for business and Government to give them this support.’

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said his department would consult on whether age ratings on music video would provide effective protection for children.

To ensure the proposals become reality, Bailey has called for a Downing Street meeting in October to monitor progress and a ‘stock-take’ in 18 months’ time.  

The Bailey review listened to the views of parents, children and young people through a range of ways including face-to-face surveys, a call for evidence and focus groups.

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England also submitted the views of more than 500 children and young people, published in a report today.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Virgin, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands