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Advertising (Children)

Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will initiate a study into advertising and promotion campaigns directed at children; and if he will take steps to curb this form of advertising.

It would be premature to take any action until there is some objective analysis of the problem, if there is a problem. A number of studies are now going on. The effects of advertising directed at children are a subject of present study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Advertising Standards Authtority has commissioned a controlled research experiment in the South-East—to be followed by studies by other regions in the country. The Consumers Association is studying sales promotion techniques and practices and looking particularly at the effects of sales offers on children. Reports from OECD and the Consumers Association are expected shortly and the ASA report in mid-1980. In addition I have asked the National Federation of Womens Institutes to let me have its views on the more general issue of children and advertising.