Telegraph (UK) 3 June 2011
Music videos featuring inappropriate dance moves and sexy clothes with adult slogans must be kept away from children, a Government review is expected to recommend. While retailers and television and music executives are unlikely to face legislation, a voluntary code is expected to be drawn up to ensure that children are not bombarded with sexual images. Parents will be given more power to express their concern when youngsters are targeted with overtly sexual or commercial messages, with a new dedicated website which will allow them to report anything they find inappropriate. The review, chaired by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers’ Union, was asked by David Cameron to examine ways of protecting children, amid fears that they are being pressured into growing up too quickly. It follows rising concern from parents about raunchy music videos which are easily accessed by children using the internet. The pop star Rihanna recently caused outrage with a sexually explicit dance routine on The X Factor which was screened before the 9pm television watershed. Retailers have offended many parents with products such as padded bras for girls under the age of 10.
The review also examined whether parents were concerned about retailers and advertisers targeting children with tactics such as peer-to-peer marketing, where youngsters are paid to recommend products to their friends. Mr Bailey is expected to propose that the retail, advertising and video industries be given 18 months to “clean up their acts voluntarily” or face tougher regulation. Billboards containing sexual imagery should be banned from sites near schools, the review will recommend. And Mr Bailey also wants parents to be provided with a special website which will direct them to the right body to complain to about inappropriate images, products or content.