For release: Friday, November 16, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby has launched a renewed national campaign to make outdoor advertising G rated.

Sexually explicit material displayed in public areas continues to impact and contribute to the sexualisation of children.

ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis has expressed concern at the effect this is having on families.

“Parents are tired of the inability to protect their children from adult concepts on billboards and shop-front advertising,” Ms Francis said.

“There is substantial evidence that sexualisation harms children. It promotes body image concerns, eating disorders, and gender stereotyping.

“It is concerning also that the degradation of women portrayed by a selection of these billboards is seen as acceptable in accordance with the Advertising Standards Board Code of Ethics.

“We must protect our children from forming unhealthy attitudes towards women and sex,” she said.

ACL is calling upon governments to reassess the current self-regulation scheme and enact legislation that will place further restrictions on outdoor and shop-front advertising to prevent the display of material that is sexually explicit, offensive and/or inappropriate for children.

“We welcome a move by the West Australian parliament to find better ways of protecting children from being exposed to highly explicit content in the media,” Ms Francis said.

The Queensland government has expressed its concern also, stating that “if it is not appropriate to show children on television during prime time, then it is not for outdoor billboard advertising”.

Similar inquiries into reducing sexualised advertising on streets are being held by governments in the US, France and Britain.

“This is an urgent issue and we call upon the Australian government to take the lead, on behalf of Australian children,” Ms Francis said.