Are children too exposed to sexual imagery through marketing and advertising? Having done some research on children as consumers, I am giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament on this at their request. The session is covered in the Scotsman (with lively debate from readers).
The interesting story is around Playboy. The MSPs have written to Playboy out of concern at the sale of Playboy branded equipment for children – pencil cases and the like. And the CEO of Playboy – Christie Hefner, has written back to assure parliamentarians that not only has Playboy never marketed its products for children. It has never knowingly allowed its licensees to do the same. And they have strict guidelines that says that “Playboy products should not appear instore in the vicinity of brands that are more appropriate to children.”
Well, WH Smith appears to be a licensee as it sells vast numbers of Playboy school kit, which they say is a “fashion range”. But clearly no-one’s told them that, according to Payboy, they shouldn’t be. And the photo below taken by an activist Bath teenager (my thanks) just days ago suggests that the rule on not placing the bunny-adorned items close to children is clearly also flouted – here it is next to Hello Kitty.
I wonder why would companies sell porn icons as a fashion range for children. Could it be profit?