UK's Advertising Association to launch children's panel to examine ad industry practices

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09/05/2011
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The Advertising Association (AA) is to launch an expert industry panel to examine industry practices around advertising and marketing communications to children.

The panel is the key recommendation in a contribution to the Department of Education's 'Bailey Review' and follows consultation with AA members and industry stakeholders. It will comprise specialists in the children's market, along with an independent academic expert.

WFA members can download the full briefing below.

Tim Lefroy, Chief Executive of the AA said that:
“Advertising and the commercial world is a big part of what makes childhood enjoyable and fun but we mustn't forget that kids are learning to understand it and need to be treated with care.”

The AA's report - 'Parents, children and the commercial world: facts, issues and solutions' – includes contributions from the industry think-tank Credos, a review of the marketplace and primary research into children's and parents' attitudes to advertising techniques and practices.

The report finds that while children's values have not fundamentally changed, parental concern about them 'growing up' is very real. While advertising is not singled out as a significant driver of that concern, there is an unhelpful lack of knowledge of both the commercial content their children engage with and the level of recourse available to them.

Tim Lefroy continues: “Self-regulation of advertising is strong but will only stay that way if we understand our market and our customers' concerns. Our expert industry panel will do just that.

Some of the emerging issues identified in the AA's report include 'peer-to-peer' activity, 'brand ambassadors', age verification, and the placement of age-inappropriate advertising.

The AA is also calling on the Bailey Review to support media literacy programmes (such as Media Smart) as the Buckingham Review highlighted as an important strategy to boost children's 'advertising literacy'.

Source: Advertising Association

In parallel, WFA has worked with Firefly Millward Brown on “Project Reconnect”, the first ever industry-consumer collaboration to define the preconditions for brand behaviour online. Find out more about this global initiative here. For more information please contact Will Gilroy.


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