Letter: Tiny consumers

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The Independent Culture
Tiny consumers

Sir: The Advertising Association does not directly represent advertisers and agencies ("Advertisers help parents beat commercials", 10 December). It is a federation of associations representing the advertising industry in its entirety; that includes the commercial broadcast and print media. In this respect, those who call for a ban or further restriction on advertising to children overlook the disastrous impact that such measures would have on the funding of, for example, children's programming.

The guide we have published is not "a further attempt to fend off the threat of tighter controls on advertising to children." It is an initiative to help parents with the challenges of raising children in a commercial, consumer society, of which advertising is only a part. A restriction on advertising to children would not make parenting any easier, let alone change the nature of the modern world.

Finally, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) is the statutory body responsible for governing TV advertising, not the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC). The BACC was set up and is funded by the industry itself, to ensure that TV advertising is of the highest standard. It vets all advertisements prior to broadcast, based on its own detailed interpretation of the ITC's codes of practice. Like the ITC, the BACC codes include a lengthy and stringent section on children, so that advertising to, or involving, this special audience is particularly responsible.

JAMES AITCHISON

The Advertising Association

London SW1

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