ASA Mulls over Charity Marketing after Finding Many of Their Ads Disturb Children

Since it has emerged in a recent survey that children and young people find certain ads disturbing, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is set to review its rules on charity and public service campaigns.

The advertising watchdog commissioned the qualitative research after a call to investigate the views of kids and parents in last year's Government sponsored Bailey Review, which looked into the commercialisation of childhood.

They discovered that three in ten children (30%) aged 11-16 claimed to have been bothered by an ad in the last 12 months - primarily mainly because it was overtly sexual, violent and/or scary.

Children also pointed to charity and public service ads as those that had most upset or bothered them or younger siblings recently. While some said they were upset by the ad content itself, others were disturbed because they felt helpless to do anything to support the call for help that was displayed.

According to a spokesman at ASA, the study results have prompted a "moral dilemma" about "drawing the line in the right place".

The regulator has also planned a 12 month secondary school visit programme to educate young people about advertising and monitor their views. ASA then intends to consult with advertisers on the findings.

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