The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Reviewing the Bailey Review

Notes from the All Party Parliamentary Group Meeting - 12th June 2012 

In his report “Letting Children Be Children”, Reg Bailey made recommendations on “how to put the brakes on the unthinking drift to greater sexualisation and commercialisation of children”.  One year on, regulators, broadcasters and Reg Bailey himself discussed the consequences of implementing the recommendations and considered what challenges lie ahead.

These are some of the key comments made by contributors to the recent APPG meeting chaired by Baroness Benjamin:

  • Seven regulators together successfully created a single destination for parent feedback  www.parentport.org  and are now raising public awareness.
  • The positioning of overtly sexual advertising and imagery in the public space is now restricted.
  • Regulators have and will continue to listen to public opinion, adopting a common sense approach to what is deemed inappropriate material/content.
  • Commercial broadcasters such as ITV are also listening to their viewers – in a commercial world they have to.
  • The progress around the digital space is slow – not through lack of will but because of technical issues.
  • Industry has a major role to play with joined up campaigns, blocking material and increasing parental controls.  Active Choice is not happening fast enough. There is some concern about who will monitor.
  • Age Verification online and on catch up TV is still an issue.  There is no easy solution but it is important.  Post watershed programmes on catch-up/on demand need to be labelled as such.
  • With no ‘corrie-like’ dramas made specifically for children, the soaps are an opportunity for children to ‘find things out’ about difficult issues.  Public service broadcasters should give more consideration to the kids in their audience and assist those parent-child conversations as part of their public service remit.

In 18 months time it is hoped that:

  • Everyone would know of Parent Port and viable Internet regulations will be in place.
  • Alarmist attitudes to advertising will have been replaced by common sense.
  • Age Verification issues will be solved
  • Parents will feel more confident about speaking out.
  • Young people will be more media literate and emotionally resilient.
The CMF will be active in helping to achieve these goals.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)