[Sinn Fein]

29th January 2003

Crowe calls for Review of Television Advertising Targeted at Children

Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Communications Seán Crowe TD has called for government to look at restrictions, or even the outright banning of television advertising which is targeted at young children.

Following questions he put to the Minister for Communications in Leinster House today the Dublin South-West TD said:

``I asked the Minister if he is aware that Sweden has a ban on all television advertising directed at children under the age of 12 and that this ban has been commended by the United Nations as a good example for other countries to follow.

``Children below a certain level of maturity cannot tell the difference between TV advertising and other TV programmes and while some children can distinguish between advertising and programmes as early as age 3 or 4, in most children this ability does not develop until the age of 6 to 8. It is only at the age of 10 that practically all children have developed this ability.

``These advertisements, often selling food that is of the most unhealthy sort for young children and expensive toys, puts tremendous pressure on less well-off families, especially at Christmas time. We saw last year that children's advertising is starting earlier every year. Most parents are unable, due to the pressures of work, to monitor what kind of advertisements their children see allowing advertisers to prey on the very young without parental supervision.''ENDS

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