19 February 2010

UK - David Cameron promises to tackle advertisers who sexualise children

The debate over how to protect children from sexualisation intensified as David Cameron promised to clamp down on irresponsible advertising agencies, and the government indicated that it plans to tighten regulation of online adverts targeting children. Cameron announced that a Tory administration would withdraw all government advertising for three years from agencies that design adverts aggressively marketing their products to children. The Tories would ban the practice of peer-to-peer marketing techniques targeted at children, and also work with headteachers to terminate contracts between schools and vending machine firms. Ben Bradshaw, the culture secretary, and Ed Balls, the children's secretary, met the Advertising Standards Authority last month to impress upon the body the need to regulate advertising aimed at children on the internet. The committee of advertising practice is expected to announce next month that it will extend the ASA's remit to the internet.