Retailers could be banned from targeting children with ’sexualised’ products as part of a Government review of age-appropriate marketing.

The Government is expected to launch an inquiry today into age-appropriate marketing and whether new rules are needed to prevent retailers marketing inappropriate items to children.

Products under scrutiny include pole-dancing kits and t-shirts with slogans like ’porn star’ for young teenagers.

The inquiry will consider whether a watchdog or government-funded website to allow parents to register complaints is needed.

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather said, “On the high street there’s one shop after another marketing highly sexualised clothes to young children. Combine that with the advertising hoardings and the pressures that children are under at school.”

Reg Bailey, CEO of Christian charity Mothers’ Union, has been appointed to lead the review.

“It’s about the tone and style of the ways things are marketed to children,” he said. “When you’re so bombarded by marketing and sexualised imagery, it becomes like wallpaper.”

The Coalition Government has pledged to crackdown on “irresponsible” marketing and the sexualisation of children.

Prime Minister David Cameron has accused marketers of “exploiting children” through “irresponsible” ad campaigns.

In a speech last month about the wellbeing of the UK, the PM said, “We saw an irresponsible media and marketing free-for-all justified on the argument that it was good for growth, with little thought about the impact on childhood.”

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Published 6 December, 2010 by NMA Staff

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