Retailers ban 'sexy' underwear for children under 12
Thongs, black underwear and padded bras have been banned for sale to under-12s by high street retailers after a backlash against the sexualisation of children.
Marks & Spencer, Next, Tesco and other chains have agreed to guidelines that bar them from stocking clothes that "sexualise or unduly gender stereotype" children under 12.
The guidelines are published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) today as the Government releases a review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, which is expected to recommend several steps to reverse a trend considered by many parents to be damaging and weird.
David Cameron ordered the review by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union, following a series of examples of leading retailers using sexual or inappropriate branding on children's products.
In two speeches, in 2006 and last year, Mr Cameron criticised the sale of a range of padded bras and sexy knickers for the under-10s by Bhs (quickly withdrawn), a "Lolita" bed aimed at six-year-olds and T-shirts for primary age children that carried the Playboy logo. He described Bhs's padded bras and sexy knickers as "harmful and creepy".
The guidelines rule out slogans and imagery with "sexually suggestive, demeaning, derogative or political material, or phrasing that could be interpreted as such."
Colour ranges and cut must be "age appropriate", they stipulate, forbidding first bras being black or having padding or under-wiring.
The eight-page document says: "Knickers and pants must provide modesty; thongs are not appropriate for children."
It advises marketing directors: "Photography should feature children in natural poses in a childlike environment, appropriate to the age range concerned. When make-up is used, it should be as natural as possible."
Argos, Debenhams, George at Asda, John Lewis, M&S, Next, Peacocks, Sainsbury's and Tesco have signed up to the voluntary initiative. Primark – found in an investigation by Channel 4 to carry the most sexualised of children's products – and Sir Philip Green's Bhs and Topshop chains, have not, because they are not members of the BRC.
Retailers hope that, by announcing these moves on the day of the launch of a government review into children's sexualisation, they will pre-empt any criticism.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reading are...
competitive benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Outstanding analytic expertise is req...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM - A high q...
competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you the king or Queen o...