Advertisers to investigate sexual images of children (Aust)

Sydney Morning Herald December 1, 2009

Advertisements featuring children made to look like sexy adult models or that are loaded with sexual imagery may be harder to get on air or in print if a study concludes the advertising industry is out of step with the public on the issue. The self-regulatory body that deals with complaints about advertising intends to ask the public if ads are promoting sex to children or are making them into sexual objects.

Two years ago a survey by the Advertising Standards Bureau found that it was more permissive than the public about risque ads featuring nudity and sex. The bureau’s chief executive, Fiona Jolly, said the study would review whether recent bureau decisions met a key clause in the advertiser’s code, which states ads ‘shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and, where appropriate, the relevant program time zone’. It would also explore if billboard ads should be allowed, given that no control can be exercised over when the ad is seen and by whom.