Yesterday saw the launch of the campaign Leave Our Kids Alone, with a letter in The Telegraph, and articles in the Daily Mail and The Guardian. This campaign grapples with what must surely be one of the most important common causes around which third sector organisations, irrespective of the issues upon which they work, should be galvanised: the problem of advertising aimed at our children.
Since our publication of Think of Me as Evil? Opening the Ethical Debates in Advertising in 2011, further evidence has accumulated that repeatedly viewing advertisements serves to undermine care for other people and the natural world. And yet we continue to bombard our children, in their formative years, with them.
No proper response to today’s pressing social and environmental challenges can be foreseen unless we find ways to broaden and deepen our collective concern about these issues. And yet the available evidence suggests that advertising works in precisely the opposite direction.
It makes little difference whether you lie awake worrying about biodiversity loss or climate change, discrimination against disabled people or human rights abuses; you need to support this campaign.