Brands urged to sign up kids advertising pledge

Brands are being urged to sign-up to a new ’fair-trade’ style pledge to end exploitative marketing to children.

The pledge is being launched on the back of a report launched today by The Mothers’ Union which claims 80% of British parents think marketing encourages sexual awareness in young children.

The Christian charity’s report, Bye Buy Childhood, is calling on brands to sign-up to a pledge to avoid ’exploitation’ of childrens’ ’natural inexperience’ to market to them.

In return for making changes to their marketing policies under the terms of the pledge, the charity will allow brands to use the campaign logo on corporate and consumer communications, and on campaign websites, according to a spokeswoman.

Mothers’ Union has 93,000 parent members in the UK and 4m worldwide.

The charity says its time for industry and parents to take their part in ensuring kids are not exposed to inappropriate marketing ahead of a fresh regulatory approach promised by the Prime Minister David Cameron.

It says it wants to act to continue an initiative launched by left wing pressure group Compass in 2006, which aimed to engage all those with an interest in protecting children in tackling inappropriate marketing.

The report unveils new research of parents views carried out by ComRes on behalf of Mothers’ Union.

Over 70% of parents believe the media encourages children to act older than they really want to, while 67% of parents believe that inappropriate content is shown on TV before the 9pm watershed.

The report identifies marketing outside of traditional advertsing, such as websites, as a particular problem as it has lain outside of regulatory frameworks remits.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority says this loophole has now been closed after it added regulation of all marketing communications to its remit.

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