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The Advertising Association has appointed Ian Douthwaite, head of marketing agency Dubit, to its children’s panel.

Earlier this month the Advertising Association, working with self-regulatory body the Advertising Standards Authority, announced it was setting up a child advisory panel to address concerns around the commercialisation of children, set out in the Bailey Report, as well as to pre-empt issues thrown up by evolving technology.

Douthwaite has been brought on board to provide expertise, in his role as CEO of youth research and communications agency Dubit. He said his appointment was a consequence of being involved in the development of the Check website, which the Advertising Association launched last year to clarify rules, regulations and best practice around marketing to kids.

“In an age of digital advertising and new techniques, ensuring that young people are protected and respected has never been more important,” he said.

Dubit has previously been at the centre of controversy around allegations of irresponsible marketing. In 2010, it was accused in the national press of using child brand ambassadors to promote Coca-Cola, Cheesestrings and the Barbie MP3 player. Dubit denied the accusations, with the agency pointing out that The Sunday Times and other national papers “ran a correction letter two weeks later accepting the article was factually incorrect”.

A spokesman for the Advertising Association said, “The vast majority of work around brand ambassadors and peer-to-peer is around social marketing campaigns as opposed to product or brand marketing campaigns. Dubit has a whole load of rules and regulations around what it will and won’t do and how it goes about it, so it will provide some valuable insight as we tackle that area.”

This story first appeared on Pitch

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Published 24 June, 2011 by NMA Staff

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