Kids must be protected from raunchy content

Herald Sun June 06, 2011

AN avalanche of sexually explicit ads and music videos is threatening children’s innocence, child advocates say. And they say the Federal Government should step in to protect kids from sexual imagery. An Opposition frontbencher has accused the Federal Government of being numb to the moral needs of children. As Britain looks set to introduce tough new laws shielding children from inappropriate advertising, the Government and advertisers have been criticised for dropping the ball. A review commissioned for British Prime Minister David Cameron recommends strict rules on the placement of billboards near schools and nurseries, as well as bans on “suggestive (advertising) slogans” for items marketed to pre-teens. The report, called Let Children Be Children, also calls for cinema-style age ratings for music videos.

Kids Free 2B Kids founder Julie Gale praised the initiative, but said it highlighted how far behind Australia had fallen. She said the “total industry inaction” since the 2008 Senate inquiry into the sexualisation of children in the media had proved self-regulation was not working. “At the time (of the Senate inquiry) we were world leaders in this area, but now we are really lagging behind,” she said. Federal Opposition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella said industry self-regulation had failed.