Blog post

Leave Our Kids Alone

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.

Kids on TV

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.

Tom Crompton

About Tom Crompton

I've worked on values and social change for nearly a decade. WWF’s work in this area started in 2008, with the publication of my report Weathercocks and Signposts. This was followed in 2010 with the publication of a book I wrote with Tim Kasser called Meeting Environmental Challenges, and then with the Common Cause report, published later the same year. In the last couple of years I’ve focused on research – particularly through a very productive collaboration between WWF and Scope. This has allowed us to test many of the principles we are advancing through Common Cause. I’m now helping to set up The Common Cause Foundation.
  • Charlie_Mansell

    It makes sense to bring in restrictions on things such as television and newsprint advertising to under 11s. I wonder with internet advertising how hard this will be to enforce online? I would also imagine in response to this advertisers will increase their resources to advertising to ‘parents’ as a segment, such as through increased sponsorship. This is why any ‘ban’ for a specific age group should also be complemented by social marketing to promote, for example, wellebing and healthy living to age groups above that. The new ringfenced public health service as part of local government provides an opportunity for more consistently applied ethical alternative marketing approaches that seek to match and challenge traditional commercial advertising