The government is expected to launch an inquiry today (Monday 6 November), into “age appropriate” marketing and whether new rules are needed to prevent retailers marketing inappropriate items to children.
Products under scrutiny include pole dancing kits and t-shirts with slogans such as “porn star” for young teens.
The inquiry will consider whether a watchdog or government-funded website to allow parents to register complaints is necessary.
Children’s minister Sarah Teather says: “On the high street there is one shop after another marketing highly sexualised clothes to young children. You combine that with the advertising hoardings and the pressures that children are under at school.
Reg Bailey, chief executive of Christian charity Mothers’ Union has been appointed to lead the review.
He says: “It’s about the tone and style of the ways things are marketed to children. When you are so bombarded by marketing and sexualised imagery, it becomes like wallpaper.”
The coalition government has pledged to crackdown on “irresponsible” marketing and the sexualisation of children.
Prime Minister David Cameron has accused marketers of “exploiting children” through “irresponsible” advertising campaigns.
In a speech last month about the wellbeing of the UK, David Cameron said: “We saw an irresponsible media and marketing free-for-all justified on the argument that it was good for growth – with little thought about the impact on childhood.”