Here we are again. The third Government-commissioned report into the sexualisation of children, the third to conclude that childhood is being commercialised to the detriment of children. But Reg Bailey’s report is unlikely to be the third left gathering dust.
As much as the advertising industry will be breathing a sigh of relief that the report was not armed with demands for statutory regulation of ads targeting children, the report was not in merely a placatory exercise aimed at satisfying Tory-voting parents.
The Primer Minister has consistently railed against “irresponsible” marketers in opposition and in office and is likely to take personal responsibility for ensuring that the advertising and media industries take action.
The industry understands this, clambering to boost their parent friendly credentials -the Advertising Association “panel of experts” to report on kids marketing or the appointment of children experts to the Advertising Standards Authority’s Council – in recent months.
Bailey’s reasoned approach should not be seen as a let off but a call to arms. The ad industry has done a fine job in convincing Bailey of its good intentions and must continue to do so. The Prime Minister expects.