Friday, February 19, 2010

Don't sexualise the kids, says Dave

Advertising firms that market to children in an age-inappropriate way will be blocked from government contracts for three years, says Dave, in a bid for the mums' vote.

Meanwhile, his spin doctor in chief, Andy Coulson, keeps quiet about his time running the News of the World, a 'newspaper' that only exists because of a fascination with other people's sex lives. Or his time on The Sun, where he thought that a good political question was asking the Prime Minister if he was a member of the Mile High Club, while the paper carried on printing pictures of half-naked women on page 3.

Not that this contributes to an oversexualised society, of course.

Quite how much of a threat this is is another matter, as Dave has promised to take an axe to government advertising.

This has the feel of yet another policy invented on the back of an envelope, because Dave's old mates in advertising have questioned the point of the government duplicating work already done by the ASA - which has only had to take action on five occasions in the past three years on issues over unnecessary sexualisation.
Hamish Pringle, IPA Director General, said: "This is a classic example of policy on the fly and as usual with such proposals they crash land when confronted with some facts." He added: "You can't just airbrush over nearly fifty years of the highest standards in legal, decent, honest and truthful advertising, governed by tough Codes, abided by over 95% of the time by advertisers and their agencies, and enforced by a world class self-regulator in the ASA. Cameron's idea of a "specially set-up website" would pull the rug out from under the ASA and is clearly ill-thought-out."

This is another policy that has grabbed a headline and will now be allowed to gather dust.

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