Joint submission with the Hon. Nick Goiran MLC on protecting children from harmful, hypersexualised advertising
"As WA children grow up, their ideas about and attitudes toward women are at serious risk of maldevelopment, shaped by advertising which routinely reduces women to objects for men’s sexual use." - Collective Shout, December 2022
In December we contributed evidence in relation to a West Australian petition calling on the State Parliament to protect children from harmful, objectifying and porn style ads in public spaces.
We highlighted the harms of exposure to sexualised and objectifying imagery to children including:
- body image issues
- depression and anxiety
- eating disorders
- inappropriate sexual behaviours
Karrinyup Shopping Centre, Western Australia
We highlighted research veryifying the broader harms of exposure to objectifying portrayals of women in media and advertising:
- It leads to a diminished view of women’s competence, morality and humanity.
- Viewers are more likely to hold attitudes of victim-blaming and be more tolerant of violence against women.
To illustrate the failures of self regulation, we pointed to the Playboy-owned sex store Honey Birdette which exposes children in family shopping centres to its porn- and BDSM-themed shop window ads with impunity. Honey Birdette has more than a decade worth of recorded advertising violations, with Ad Standards upholding community complaints against 69 separate ads to date.
Honey Birdette shop window ad displayed metres from kids school holiday activities, Lakeside Joondalup (WA)
We urged the WA Parliament to implement laws which require companies advertising in public space to:
- comply with Ad Standards rulings by implementing a system of fines and other penalties to bring recalcitrant/repeat offenders into line
- provide powers of enforcement
- implement a ban on repeat offenders from public advertising for six months
- recommend a co-regulatory advertising regulation system with expertise from child welfare/development specialists and other relevant experts
Read the full joint submission here.
See our other submissions here.