Ad watchdog raps kids’ retailer for plastic bag images

Children’s clothing retailer No Added Sugar has come under fire from the advertising watchdog for the second time after complaints that its catalogue contained images that could put children’s health at risk.

The censure is the second handed to No Added Sugar by the Advertising Standards Authority after a 2007 campaign was rapped for sexualising children.

The winter catalogue showed pictures of children holding plastic carrier bags on or near their heads. The ASA ruled that young children that saw the catalogue might try to copy the kids in the pictures.

No Added Sugar argued the images were in the context of the catalogue story, which focused on the things people throw away. It adds the catalogue was aimed at adults.

The watchdog said children the same age as those featured could see it and are likely to live in houses with plastic bags.
The ban follows a 2007 ASA adjudication that rapped the company for presenting children “in a sexually provocative manner”. The watchdog concluded the ads were likely to cause offence and ordered the retailer not to use them again.

The ruling was in the news again last week after Conservative Party leader David Cameron expressed concern over some of the “offensive marketing tactics” used by companies targeting children. The IPA hit back and said the No Added Sugar adjudication was one of just five ads the ASA had ruled against for sexualising children since 2007.

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