October 11th, 2011

David Cameron holds child advertising summit

By Patrick Wintour
The Guardian

Measures to clamp down on the sexualisation of children are to be driven through by Number 10 as part of a long-term push to make industry rethink its attitude towards selling goods to children.

Ahead of a short summit in Downing Street, the big four internet service providers (ISPs) announced measures to allow parents to fix new computers so that children cannot access porn websites.

The prime minister held discussions with 30 media and retail executives, including broadcasters, magazine editors, trade bodies and advertisers. The drive would include controls on billboard advertising near schools, and make it easier for parents to complain about sexualised images on TV and video.

David Cameron’s move is part of an effort to win back women voters disturbed by the coalition’s hardline deficit-reduction programme. Ministers have been promoting measures on child care, maternity leave and parenting classes in a bid to show it is alert to women’s issues.

The move follows a report commissioned by ministers and published in the summer, by Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the mothers union, on how to combat the commercialisation of childhood.

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