The AMA is calling for a new Inquiry into the premature
sexualisation of children in marketing and advertising.
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that
self-regulation by the advertising industry is clearly not
Dr Hambleton said that there had recently been renewed
debate in the media and in the community sparked by
advertising that features young children in images and with
messages that were disturbing and sexually exploitative.
"These are highly sexualised ads that target children, and
the advertising industry is getting away with it," Dr
"There is strong evidence that premature sexualisation is
likely to be detrimental to child health and development,
particularly in the areas of body image and sexual health,"
Dr Hambleton said.
"The current self regulatory approach through the
Advertising Standards Bureau is failing to protect children
from sexualised advertising.
"Stronger action is needed to stop this practice of pushing
adult themes to young children, especially pre-teen girls.
"We urge the Government to start a new Inquiry with the
view to introducing tougher measures, including
legislation, to protect the health and development of our
children by shielding them from sexualised and other
In 2008, the Senate Standing Committee on Environment,
Communication and the Arts undertook an Inquiry into the
Sexualisation of Children in the Contemporary Media
Environment. The Committee recommended another
Inquiry 18 months later. That recommendation has
not been acted upon;
In 2009, a Private Members Motion was moved in the House
of Representatives highlighting concerns about the
premature sexualisation of children in the media.
The motion had the support of Members from the major
There were complaints last year about an ad for Oh,
Lola! perfume, which references
Lolita. The ad was banned in Britain but
deemed suitable for Australian audiences by the