Marketers prepare for impact of Bailey childhood report

Lads mags: potentially impacted by Bailey review
Lads mags: potentially impacted by Bailey review

Marketers have been put on alert by several recommendations in the long-awaited Bailey Review, which was published this week.

The report, which has been backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, includes the prohibition of under-16s from peer-to-peer marketing activity, covering up front-page sexualised press images and restricting the placing of risquŽ outdoor ads near schools.

In response to the report, the British Retail Consortium has issued new guidelines on age-appropriate clothes for children, to which nine high-street brands, including Asda, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, have signed up.

However, a number of areas set out in the report, which was authored by Mothers' Union chief executive Reg Bailey, remain unclear.

'If there is a swimwear ad there may well be a lot of flesh on display, but it doesn't make it a sexualised image,' said Bailey. 'One thing that parents came out with very strongly was perfume ads, where often the models were fully clothed, but draped inappropriately across men and this [was viewed] as demeaning of women.'

Alcohol ads are presently barred from advertising next to schools, but Guy Parker, chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority, admitted applying the same rules to sexualised content would be tough as it is more subjective.

In the past, Parker has raised concerns about alternative systems being used to regulate ads, but he welcomed the development of a new website where parents could complain about sexualised content.

Bailey said he hoped that his recommendations on lads' mags would lead to a reassessment by publishers of what was suitable for front covers.

'I hope that "modesty boards" will encourage people to re-look at what they put on front pages. I hope it's going to create pressure,' he added.

To ensure the proposals become reality, Cameron will convene a Downing Street meeting in October to monitor progress and 'stock-take' in 18 months.

Key proposals

-    Providing parents with a single complaints website.
-    Covering up sexualised images on the front pages of magazines and newspapers.
-    Banning the employment of children under 16 as brand ambassadors and in peer-
to-peer marketing.
-    Restricting outdoor ads containing sexualised imagery near schools.

Source: Bailey Review

Industry reaction

Dominic McVey, Owner, Front magazine

Covering up mags would be hugely damaging to an industry that is already suffering and will end up taking huge amounts out of the economy and result in jobs being lost. It won't protect children in the long run. Front is a top-50 digital magazine on iTunes and meets all its
family-friendly guidelines, so I don't understand what right the government has to try to move us to the top shelf. WH Smith, which positions its men's magazines away from its products for children, has the right approach.

Justine Roberts, Founder,

This is not about prudishness or hankering after some rose-tinted picture of child-hood. It's about knowing that there is something wrong with a society that tries to sell seven-year-old girls three-inch heels, or T-shirts emblazoned with 'future porn star'. That's why we launched the 'Let girls be girls' campaign and have worked with retailers to change the clothes they sell, and with newsagents to remove lads' mags from children's view. We're delighted to see so many of our policies adopted by the Bailey Review.

Ian Twinn, Director of public affairs, ISBA

The theme of the PM-backed report to 'let children be children' is to be welcomed. Rather than seek to scapegoat parents, business, the press and TV or the music industry, we need to help everyone respect the clear objective of not intruding adult attitude into childhood. Advertisers will welcome the broad approach to empower parents to say 'no' to adult content and inappropriate products. The ASA, with a new look at what it is socially responsible to place on billboards near schools, can also only help.


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


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message