Minister applauds action taken to protect children
23 October 2012
Over the last year, we have seen that advertising in the UK has some of the most rigorous protections for children in the world. It is exceptionally well regulated. It is responsive. It is effective. It is regarded globally as the gold-standard for all others to follow.
The Minister for Children and Families, Edward Timpson MP has commended the work the ASA has undertaken in response to public concerns about the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood.
Speaking at an Advertising Association event, 'Marketing to Children: What next?' he highlighted the collective efforts that are being made to protect children and young people from potentially harmful or inappropriate ads. The ASA has been at the forefront of this work as part of our on-going commitment to ensure that while advertising remains innovative, fun and creative, it also remains child-friendly.
Highlighting this, the minister said: "Over the last year, we have seen that advertising in the UK has some of the most rigorous protections for children in the world. It is exceptionally well regulated. It is responsive. It is effective. It is regarded globally as the gold-standard for all others to follow."
In response to the Bailey Review, a Government-commissioned report into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, we have taken various measures to bolster protections for children including:
- Joining forces with other media regulators to create ParentPort, a website aimed at helping parents to understand regulatory standards and make their voices heard on issues relating to inappropriate programmes, adverts, products and services
- Commissioning a wide-ranging piece of research into the public’s views on harm and offence in advertising, the findings of which have led us to consider the perspectives of children even more carefully when judging ads
- Creating a dedicated Parent’s Page on our website and a ‘Parent’s Guide’ leaflet that clearly explain our role, outline the ad rules surrounding children and how parents can raise their concerns with us
- Taking a stricter line when regulating ‘sexualised imagery’ in outdoor advertising where children are likely to see it
- Launching a new resource for schools “Ad:Check”. It aims to encourage Key Stage 3 & 4 Citizenship, PSHE and English students to analyse ads, understand the rules that govern them and debate the topical and sometimes controversial issues surrounding advertising. The resource can be downloaded via the ASA website
- Visiting schools in Wales and Manchester and talking to students about our work and hearing first-hand what they think and what worries them about advertising
Already we have seen good progress, for example our recent research on harm and offence in UK advertising indicated that the public were more comfortable with our stricter rulings on sexual imagery that might be seen in public places.
Our commitment doesn’t end here; we will continue to ensure that we listen to the views of parents and young people by conducting research and finding new ways to reach out to them. Making sure children are protected from harmful or inappropriate ads remains our priority.