28 January 2008


As someone who works in advertising, I am aware of the perception that promoting products to children in our modern media-saturated society is the lower end of the scale of child abuse. The way OffCom is moving, there will come a day when the only thing one can advertise before 9pm will be fresh fruit.

And Donkeys. Because the combination of expanding numbers of TV channels and shrinking number of products fit for advertising to children means the air time between kids' TV shows is now filled with excruciating paeans to injured animals who need your help. Or, more specifically, need your children's help. Every Saturday on Channel 5's "Milkshake" - dedicated TV programming for the under 8s - the trailers for Transformers, Lego, Masters of the Universe toys and McDonalds from my childhood has been replaced by 120-second tearjerkers begging for cash to save donkeys and dogs from the knackers yard.

So now instead of a world full of junk food and superheroes, my children will grow up convinced the world is full of people hobbling donkeys and setting fire to pet dogs. I'm not sure how this is supposed to be helping protect them from the malign influence of my trade.

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