Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of the Mothers’ Union, is carrying out an independent review to address parents’ concerns about the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.
Today he is launching a call for evidence to hear the views of parents, industry, and anyone who works with children and young people or has an interest in this area.
Reg Bailey said:
I am really keen to hear from parents to get their views and experiences of the commercial world and what they think the pressures are on children to grow up too quickly. In particular, I want to know whether parents think that there is too much sexualised imagery day to day, and if this makes it seem like the norm to children. We also hear a lot about adult products that are marketed at children but it would be good to know how much of a problem parents think it is.
As well as listening to parents concerns, I also want to hear from industry and anyone else with an interest or expert view in the commercialisation and premature sexualisation of children. In my review I will be looking at whether businesses sometimes treat children too much like consumers and forget they are children. That is why I want to find out how prevalent the different digital marketing techniques are – such as peer-to-peer marketing. I am also interested to hear how parents would like to tell businesses if they are unhappy about a product or advertisement, and what are the easiest and most effective ways for them to make a complaint.
The call for evidence will run until 18 March 2011 and Mr Bailey will report back to Government by May 2011.