'Sexy' videos targeted in crackdown
Friday 03 June 2011
Music videos look set to be subjected to tighter regulation under the recommendations of an inquiry into the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood.
The independent review, commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron, is expected to demand an age-rating system similar to that used for films, which would restrict the times when raunchy videos can be shown.
Its report, to be published on Monday, is also expected to call for it to be made easier for parents to complain about overly-sexualised products - such as clothes - targeted at young children.
And it is expected to call for adverts with sexual imagery to be banned from sites near schools.
Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union, was asked by Mr Cameron to look into the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.
The inquiry was commissioned in response to the concerns of parents who feel their children are under increasing pressure to become consumers, and that the world they live in is a more sexualised place than when their parents were growing up.
Its publication follows widespread controversy about the sexual content of videos by pop stars such as Rihanna and Lady Gaga, who have a large following among pre-teens.
Mr Bailey is expected to recommend that the retail, advertising and video industries be given 18 months to clean up their acts voluntarily or face tougher Government regulation.
His report will call for a single online portal to be set up as a gateway for parents to complain about the way products are marketed to children, to help them find their way through the confusing plethora of regulatory bodies.
Launching his inquiry in December, Mr Bailey said his concern was "the tone and the style of the way things are marketed to children", adding: "When you are so bombarded by marketing and sexualised imagery, it almost becomes wallpaper."
Mr Cameron revealed last year that he had told his own six-year-old daughter Nancy to stop listening to songs by Lily Allen because some of the sexual references in her lyrics were inappropriate for a child of that age.
He said then: "You can't cut children off from the commercial world, but we should be able to help parents more in terms of trying to make sure that our children get a childhood and that they are not subject to unnecessary and inappropriate commercialisation and sexualisation too young."
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