[Sinn Fein]

30th March 2003

Sinn Fein Ard Fheis 2003

Sean Crowe TD, speaking to motion 266 in the section on children

Our national broadcaster, here today to cover our Ard Fhéis for the first time, profits from child abuse. For what else can we call its facilitation of thousands of hours of advertisements targeted at young children every year. The most unhealthy foods, the most useless products are sold to children too young to tell the difference between TV advertising and TV programmes, though with the amount of product placement in programmes I find it difficult to tell the difference myself these days.

In November of 2002 the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland was instructed by the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources to draw up new rules and codes relating to advertising and that priority be given to those codes pertaining to advertising directed at children.

Since being elected I have raised this issue in Leinster House with the Minister for Communications and met with the Broadcasting Commission in an effort to push this process forward. States like Sweden have a ban on all television advertising directed at children under the age of 12, a situation commended by the United Nations as an example for other states to follow.

The pressures put on parents by these advertisements, especially in the run up to Christmas are intense. I call on the Ard Fhéis to support Motion 266 and affirm that our support for public service broadcasting is based on the belief that such a broadcaster should not be assisting in the targeting of children by large companies which have put profit and greed before children.

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