They say laws against “sexualisation” of children would be impractical yet they want the government to go the whole hog and ban all advertising aimed at children.
From The Telegraph:
Laws against sexualisation of children impractical, say campaigners
Proposed laws against clothing that sexualises children would be impractical, parenting experts have warned the Government.
By Martin Beckford 06 Dec 2010
MPs would struggle to draw up rules on the acceptable length of skirts or height of heels that could be worn by young girls, it is claimed.
However campaigners believe ministers should attempt to ban all advertising aimed at the young, such as toys and sweets, on the grounds that it encourages “pester power”.
It emerged at the weekend that the Government is to commission a review of inappropriate products and images targeting girls as young as 10, including padded bras, T-shirts with provocative slogans and pencil cases decorated with the Playboy bunny.
This could lead to industry standards being established or individual businesses being prosecuted, while parents could be given new powers to challenge inappropriate adverts or products.
Justine Roberts, co-founder of the influential web forum Mumsnet, welcomed the Government’s focus on the problem as she said it was of great concern to parents and had been a subject of a campaign by her website.
But she warned it would be impractical to draw up legislation banning sexualised products for children.
“We are sleepwalking into a world where our kids are dressing up as pole-dancers.
“I’m skeptical that you can legislate for it but I’m glad that the debate is being taken up.
“If they get into the area of trying to legislate on the size of heels or the shortness of skirts or the padded-ness of bras, they’re going to get into terribly difficult areas.
“The best way is to challenge retailers to think about it a bit more, and parents too because obviously someone’s buying this stuff.
“A far better way is to raise the debate and let the consumers do the ‘nudge’, which is saying we challenge you to behave properly in this regard.”
But she added: “I think in commercialisation and advertising, that is the place where Government can make a difference if they’re brave. I don’t see why children need to be advertised to when it’s not their money, what you’re doing is encouraging them to pester their poor parents.”
Pippa Smith, co-chairman of Safermedia, said: “Unfortunately children are quite a high priority on the marketers’ list. I think there’s got to be willpower with the Government.
“It’s very hard with legislation, I agree, and there’s a large amount of money involved.”
Katherine Rake, the chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute, welcomed attempts to protect boys and girls from adult images.
She said: “It is a very real concern for parents that young children are experiencing too much too young. Mothers and fathers regularly tell us that they don’t want to see childhood disappearing.
“Confronting this issue is vital if we are to move closer to a family-friendly society. We look forward to seeing progress made.”