Gov’t invites advertisers to join UK Council for Child Internet Safety

The Government is inviting advertisers to join the UK Council for Child Internet Safety to help develop its strategy on online safety.

The launch of the Council, which will be announced in September, follows recent threats of legislation covering digital advertising if the industry does not bring it under its self-regulatory code. There are rising concerns about the number of online ads aimed at children.

The move also reflects the Government’s growing desire to work with the marketing communications community when launching policies that will affect the industry.

The Government has already formed a partnership with the Advertising Association in its fight againstthe obesity crisis, in an attempt to influence any new policies in food advertising (MW last week).

The launch of UKCCIS will be led by minister for children and young people Kevin Brennan and home office minister Vernon Coaker. It follows a recent report commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families called Safer Children in a Digital World, by Dr Tanya Byron, which set out a plan for the Government, digital industry and families to work together to keep children safe online, and to reduce access to adult video games.

The AA has already set up its own Digital Media Forum to revise its own self-regulation code on internet advertising. It is expected to report this autumn.

The Ministers are expected to start inviting the marketing industry and children’s charities to become members of the UKCCIS in the next few weeks. The Council is likely to have an executive board, which will include various stakeholders, such as mobile operators, online gaming providers and internet service providers.

The Council board meetings will be chaired by DCSF and Home Office ministers.

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