How many times as a parent have you been horrified at something you’ve seen on TV aimed at children?
With so many avenues of communication open to children today, parents can feel bombarded by unwelcome messages and images that are increasingly hard to escape.
And the difficulty for many parents has been that when they do want to complain they don’t know who to complain to. But for the first time UK media regulators have joined forces to launch a website where parents can complain about programmes, adverts, products and services all in one place.
The aim of ParentPort is to help parents negotiate the myriad of organisations covering different aspects of the media so they have just one place to head to, to make their views heard no matter what the medium.
Its creation is in response to Reg Bailey’s Independent Review of the Commercialisation and Sexualisation of Childhood published in June which called on regulators to work together to create a single website to act as a portal between themselves and parents.
The site guides parents through the process of complaining about something they have seen or heard that they consider inappropriate for their children by directing them to the right regulator for their specific concern.
In its 'Have Your Say' section, ParentPort also provides a forum for parents to leave feedback and comments which regulators will refer to as an extra indication of parental views.
Other areas of the site offer advice on keeping children safe online which is particularly timely as four leading web providers — BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin — will offer customers the chance to block adult content at the point of sign up across smartphones, laptops and PCs also in response to the Bailey report.
ParentPort has been jointly developed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD), the BBC Trust, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and the Video Standards Council (VSC)/Pan-European Game Information (PEGI).
Reg Bailey, Chief Executive of Mothers’ Union, said: “I am really encouraged that all the regulators have got together to produce ParentPort in a relatively short time since my review.
"This will be one place where parents can make their voices heard and tell businesses and broadcasters if they feel they have overstepped the line in what is appropriate for children."
He added: "Parents are the best judges of what is acceptable for children so it’s important we all take their views more seriously.”
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