The move is one of several measures the advertising industry will present to the Prime Minster next week to demonstrate it is meeting the requirements set out in Reg Bailey’s report on the commercialisation of children. It is hoped that the commitments will put an end to any threat of new statutory rules and restrictions on marketing products aimed at parents or children.

The firms and a number of advertising industry associations have lent their name to a code of practice on marketing to under-16s that will be presented to David Cameron and education minister Sarah Teather at Downing Street on Tuesday (11 October). It is hoped more will sign up over time.

The pledge reads: ““Young people under the age of 16 should not be employed and directly or indirectly paid or paid-in-kind to actively promote brands, products, goods, services, causes or ideas to their peers, associates or friends.”

Mother’s Union head Bailey called for a ban on peer to peer marketing and the use of endorsements by kids in his May report. The Prime Minister backed the call.

The industry’s response has been coordinated by the panel of experts set up by the Advertising Association in the wake of the report. The panel is chaired by former COI chief executive Mark Lund and is made up of representatives from companies including Facebook and Unilever.

Lund and Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) chief executive Guy Parker will form part of an advertising industry delegation that will also propose the development of an online guide to social media and mobile marketing to educate parents and address concerns that the internet is being used inappropriately by marketers. The Advertising Association will work with Mumsnet and the Family and Parenting Institute on the online tool.

The ASA, in response to Bailey’s call to restrict outdoor adverts containing sexualised imagery where large numbers of children are likely to see them, will promise to establish a framework for judging ads that are sexually suggestive.

The PM will also be told of a planned joint communications drive by bodies including the Outdoor Media Centre, ISBA and the Advertising Association that will tell the industry not to advertise within 100m of where large numbers of children gather if there is any doubt that images used could be deemed sexual in nature.

The advertising watchdog, along with other self regulatory bodies and broadcasters, will also present proposals for a single website for parents to lodge complaints about advertisements, programmes, products or services that sexualise children that could launch before the end of the year.

The single platform was recommended by Bailey, who is keen to make it easier for parents to complain.

Pledge Signatories





Johnson & Johnson




National Schools Partnership



Procter & Gamble




Virgin Media


Supported by Facebook and the following Trade Associations








Mobile Broadband Group