The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has called for children to be protected from the “exploitative advertising tactics” that are fuelling bullying, depression and obesity. It has singled out companies including Cadbury, Kelloggs and Tesco for using marketing techniques that may be “damaging”.
The report, published today, looks at the impact of advertising on children and it adds that sophisticated marketing presents “several different levels of danger” to the UK’s kids.
It found that youngsters are exposed to about 10,000 adverts every year on television, as well as hundreds of internet ads. A typical 10-year-old is aware of as many as 400 brands.
The study also says that marketers routinely hire child psychologists to target children more effectively.
The NUT says the study also found that children are explosed to “unrealistic and unachievable” images of what they should look like and that more than half the children surveyed said that they know someone who has been bullied because they did not have fashionable clothes or the latest gadgets.
The NUT is calling for the Government to intervene if marketers do not limit their targeting of children and for a ban on junk food adverts before 9pm.
Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary is set to announce a study into the “commercialisation of children” this week after other calls for the Government to clamp down on exploitative tactics in marketing and advertising to children.