Leave Our Kids Alone wants a ban on all advertising targeting children under 11.
As parents we aim to protect our children from the worst of the adult world. We’re careful about the people our children come into contact with. Teachers, care assistants, medics, child minders; they’re all vetted and most have to be qualified. Above all they’re expected to have the best interests of our children at heart.
That’s not true of advertising. The commercial world serves its shareholders. Our children’s wellbeing simply is not their primary concern. It’s often of little or of no concern at all.
Advertising is a £12 Billion a year industry in the UK alone. In order to sell us things it uses sophisticated techniques to play on our emotions, our insecurities, our need to be respected, our need to be loved. Similar techniques are increasingly being used on children, some of them not yet old enough to read.
We believe that’s wrong. We believe that if companies make products for children they should aim to persuade parents, not children of four, six or eight. Our children need space to discover themselves, to learn about the world, to realise that not everything adults say can be taken at face value, to handle money, to learn the true worth of things.
We believe children should be free to grow up without today’s intense commercial pressures, to become young citizens and not just little consumers.