Protecting children has always been at the heart of our work: in 1962 – the ASA’s very first year of operation – one of our priorities was to look into ads for horror films and their potential to scare children. Ensuring that children are not exposed to potentially harmful or inappropriate advertising has remained an ongoing commitment, a fact underlined by a recent public consultation on the Advertising Codes which resulted in enhanced protections for children being introduced.
Why does the advertising regulatory system place a particular emphasis on protecting young people? By virtue of their age and inexperience children are more credulous and vulnerable than grown-ups. They don’t necessarily have the understanding of the commercial world or the consumer savvy possessed by most adults.
Therefore, the potential for an ad to mislead or harm a child is greater. As such, the advertising rules surrounding children are very