IPA supports new B/CAP rules regarding sexual portrayal of under 18s

The IPA has welcomed the new rules from B/CAP prohibiting the sexual portrayal or sexual representation of under-18s (or those who appear to be under 18) in advertising.

CAP and BCAP consider that the new rules represent a necessary and proportionate strengthening of existing rules to protect the welfare of under-18s taking into account links between premature sexualisation and harm, alongside national and international measures prohibiting certain types of sexual depiction of under-18s. A significant majority of respondents representing a cross-section of industry and charities supported the proposals.

The rules address the potential for some adults to view under-18s in general as sexual beings and for some under-18s to be pressurised to view themselves as sexual beings. They also address the protection of the individual models featured in advertising.

See the new rules here.

Says Richard Lindsay, Director of Legal & Public Affairs:

“The IPA supports the introduction of the new CAP and BCAP Code rules - which will prohibit ads in all media from portraying or representing anyone who is, or seems to be, under 18 in a sexual way. As we said in our response to B/CAP’s consultation last year, protecting vulnerable members of society is a critical obligation of the advertising industry, and the self-regulatory codes must enable proportionate regulatory intervention when necessary. The new rules will help protect people aged under 18 and give clarity to agencies and advertisers. Since the rules will be likely to affect the creation of ads at an early stage (for example, the selection of models/artists) and since the use of some types of media require a long lead-time, the six-month grace period is welcome and should give sufficient time for agencies to comply.”

Last updated 21 January 2022