22 February 2010 | Helen Gilbert
Marketing firms who defy rules governing advertising to children could be temporarily banned from winning government contracts, under proposals outlined by the UK Conservative party.
The recommendation is part of a wider Tory plan to protect youngsters from premature sexualisation and excessive commercial pressure by cracking down on irresponsible marketing practices and products targeted at children.
Under the party’s ‘Responsible Business’ proposals, announced last week, any marketing or advertising company found by the Advertising Standards Authority to be in serious breach of rules governing selling to children would be banned from bidding for government advertising contracts for three years.
This would be achieved by changing Office of Government Commerce (OGC) rules governing procurement contracts, the Conservatives said.
Leader David Cameron said: “We will ban the most irresponsible marketing techniques and introduce penalties for agencies caught flouting the rules. A Conservative government would take the tough action needed to help families and build a society in which we stop treating children as adults.”