Too much, too young: Are advertisers sexualising childhood?
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is hosting a public debate on how we should protect children from inappropriate advertising.
Many parents are worried about a ‘sexualised culture’ surrounding their children. The accessibility of pornography on the internet and sexual imagery in advertising, TV programmes, films and music videos are just a few examples of things that parents say contribute to their anxiety that children are under pressure to grow up too quickly.
The ASA is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media and works to ensure that all ads are legal, decent, honest and truthful. We place the protection of children at the heart of our work. We already have strict rules that prevent ads from containing anything likely to result in a child’s physical, mental or moral harm. But what about ads aimed at an adult audience, for example posters for perfume featuring sexual imagery? Are these contributing to an ‘unthinking drift to ever greater sexualisation’? Do you think the ASA makes the right decisions or should we be drawing the line in a different place?
Make your voice heard and join the debate
Whatever your views, the ASA invites you to participate in a Question Time style public debate. We’ll provide you with a valuable opportunity to put forward your opinion, concerns and questions on this topical subject and hear the views from representatives from the advertising industry, family and parenting groups and Reg Bailey, the Government’s independent reviewer of the sexualisation of childhood. There will also be a chance to act as ASA Council and look at recent ASA rulings where you can decide whether or not the complaint should be upheld.
Please register to attend this event by completing the registration form. When we receive your registration we will confirm your attendance by email.
This event is free of charge.
1900 Welcome and introduction
1905 Opening comments from panel
2025 You decide – judge recent ASA decisions
2055 Closing comments
Lord Smith of Finsbury - ASA, Chairman
Guy Parker - ASA, Chief Executive
Reg Bailey - Mothers' Union, Chief Executive
Dr Katherine Rake OBE - Family and Parenting Institute, Chief Executive
Mark Lund - Advertising Association's Children's Panel, Chair
Ian Fenn - Burnage Media Arts College, Headteacher (Panel Chair)