Media Smart initiative comes under scrutiny

The future of Media Smart, the Government-backed media literacy initiative, is set to come under review as part of the Children’s Plan, which is being drawn up by Ed Balls (pictured), the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

Balls has asked the Advertising Association (AA) to help review the impact of the commercial world on childhood as part of the £1bn, ten-year plan, which was announced in December.

He is expected to ask the AA to review the role of Media Smart, which aims to educate children aged six to 11, and assess whether it helps children to understand and interpret advertising effectively.

The review of Media Smart will be part of a wider evaluation of how the commercial world seeks to engage with children and will include quantitative evaluations and qualitative case studies.

Media Smart was launch≠ed in November 2002 and provides about 10,000 schools with materials to teach children about marketing and advertising.

The resources are provided by sponsors including Masterfoods, Kellogg’s, Heinz, Lego, McDonald’s, Mattell and Proc≠ter & Gamble, as well as by academics, and are devised by a board including watchdog Ofcom, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the European Commission.

The DCSF has also said a panel of academic experts will carry out the final assessment and all responses from the industry, lobby groups and other stakeholders are due by June 30.

The result of the consultation is due to be published in the autumn.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here