David Cameron has called for a clampdown to protect he commercialisation of children.
The review will have lads mags sold in brown covers, retailers being required to sign up to codes of conduct stating the prevention of items with suggestive slogans on them being sold to pre-teens, and making the watchdog Ofcom more answerable to the views of parents.
Cameron has, in particular, stated his disapproval of suggestive slogans on pre-teen clothing countless times before.
Suggestions in the review, entitled “Let Children Be Children”, include:
- A clampdown on violent and sexualised images shown on TV before the 9pm watershed, and cinema-style age ratings for music videos
- Lads mags to be moved to he top shelves and / or sold in innocuous brown covers
- A single website to be created, by which parents could communicate their views to “a variety of regulators across the media”
- The Advertising Standards Authority to discourage placement of billboards with sexualised imagery near nurseries and schools, and other places where children are likely to be.
The report was put together by chief executive of the Christian charity Mothers’ Union, Reg Bailey. She states that “sexualised and gender stereotyped clothing, products and services for children are the biggest concerns for parents and many non-commercial organisations.”
Founder of web-based parents’ forum ‘Mumsnet’, Carrie Longton, welcomes the clampdown stating that “We launched our ‘Let Girls be Girls’ campaign to ask retailers to commit not to sell products which play upon, emphasise or exploit their children’s sexuality. Now it’s great that the industry as a whole, through the British Retail Consortium, has recognised their responsibility and drafted their own guidelines to encourage more responsibility up and down the high street”.
It is reported that retailers will be advised against also selling enhanced or black bras for pre-teens. Modest swimwear will also be proposed.