Non-compliers with sexualisation review should be “embarrassed”: Reg Bailey

Brands that do not take action to implement the recommendations made in a recent Government-commissioned report on the sexualisation of children should be named and shamed, according to its author.

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Mother’s Union chief Reg Bailey delivered his report to the Prime Minister earlier this month. In it, he called for a ban on peer to marketing and for the Advertising Standards Authority to discourage the placement of risqué images on billboards near schools.

A ban on sexy images being shown on TV before the watershed, moving lads’ magazines to the shop shelf, and making it easier for parents to block online material meant for adults were also recommended.

Bailey said in his review that the retail, media and advertising industries should be given 18 months to take action. Prime Minister David Cameron, however, will ask representatives from the industries affected for a progress report in October.

Speaking at an event hosted by advertising think tank Credos today (21 June), Bailey says although legislation to force companies to take action “remains an option” it should not be the first choice.

He adds: “A more powerful option is brand embarrassment. We were careful not to name anyone in the report but there comes a point when if people fall short then they could be named”.

Bailey praised “big win” industry-led initiatives that implement some of the measures recommended, citing Dixons’ recent decision to promote child safety on the web to parents via in-store demonstrations and flyers. Sainsbury’s and Morrisons move to place modesty board covers on lads’ mags sold in-sore was also mentioned.

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