Fifty shades shop posters taken down
Child’s Eye Line UK is celebrating after shopping centres across the UK have agreed to remove Ann Summers window displays featuring bondage imagery.
Shopping centres in Wimbledon, Sutton, Milton Keynes, Eastbourne and all Intu shopping centres in the UK removed their 50 Shades of Grey themed window display posters after campaigners complained they were not appropriate as they could be seen in children’s eye line.
Child’s Eye Line UK campaigns to protect children from sexualisation and commercialisation
“We are delighted that so many shopping centres have agreed to make their centres more family-friendly,” Child’s Eye Line UK’s founder Kathy McGuinness said.
“Sexualised imagery should not be displayed on the high street. It’s great to see retailers acting responsibly and listening to parents’ concerns.
“We hope that other shopping centres and high streets will follow their lead to protect children from sexualised imagery in family-friendly places.”
The government issued guidelines in 2012 saying that sexualised imagery should not be displayed where children can see them, following ‘the Bailey Review‘, called “Letting children be children”, was published in 2011.
These guidelines were reinforced by the Children’s Commissioner’s report 2013 which concluded that “exposure to sexualised imagery is damaging to children’s development, relationships and self esteem and makes risky sexual behaviour more likely.”
When Child’s Eye Line UK met the Minister for Crime Prevention, Norman Baker MP, in July 2014, he confirmed that retailers who display sexualised images at child height are “not observing current legislation in relation to the Indecent Displays Act 1981.”
“Child’s Eye Line UK’s concerns about displays with inappropriate or indecent images or text are fully understood and I believe the problem lies with the retailers,” Baker said in a letter to Child’s Eye Line UK following that meeting at the Home Office.
“I am grateful to the work of Child’s Eye Line UK and I am particularly struck by the difficulties and resistance parents have been experiencing when seeking the cooperation of retailers who are often not observing current legislation.”
Baker wrote to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in his role as Minister on Child’s Eye Line UK’s behalf and received a ‘positive reply.’
David Cameron referred him to the Bailey Review into the sexualisation of children, ‘Letting Children Be Children’, which made a series of recommendations that shops should ‘ensure that sexualised images are not in easy sight of children.’
Baker said that it is “vital that a robust approach to promoting the self-regulation is in place and that the Indecent Displays Act 1981 is able to provide for sufficient protection on matters raised by Child’s Eye Line UK.”
Child’s Eye Line UK has also received cross-party support at the Scottish Parliament.
Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour MSP, and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, said that she was delighted with Child’s Eye Line UK’s success, and said: “All shoppers including children have the right to shop in a family-friendly environment.”
And campaign supporter Sharon had success with the Indecent Displays Act, 1981, and her local Ann Summers shop in Taunton.
Sharon told Child’s Eye Line UK: “After another visit to the police station yesterday with the ‘Indecent Displays Act‘ in hand, a really great chat to an officer there and a phone call by them to Ann Summers head office, I’ve been informed that the current display should be coming down within next couple of days.
“Six other towns have also protested so far. Ann Summers said they had a contingency in place as they knew they were pushing the boundary on this one!!!!
“Let that statement alone, be an encouragement to us all, to keep an eye on what’s going on around us, and to act when we do see something that is not in line with what’s best for our little ones.”
Sharon has also written a great blog which addresses many of the reactions she and other campaigners face, from being called prudes to criticism from those that seem happy with or even encourage the normalisation of the sexualisation of children.
There is also some great information about how to implement the Indecent Displays Act, 1981.
Wanting to protect children from sexualisation has nothing to do with prudery – as most of us know.