Thursday, 26 March 2009

'Gotta get real' - young people on TV advertising

I am really pleased that the Advertising Watchdogs have suggested in their public consultation that condom advertising guidelines are to be brought into the 21st century.

In 2007 young people involved in a peer research project at Brook decided to survey their peers about condom advertising on TV. They got interested in the issue when they learnt there were guidelines which prevented condoms being advertised before the watershed. Of the young people surveyed, 8 in 10 thought that showing condoms on TV would encourage young people to use them when they have sex (click here to see the research).

'Gotta get real' was the message of one young woman about showing condoms out of their wrapper on TV. She went on to say how sex is all around young people and it is stupid not to show condoms in that context.

Advertising will always have limitations and we must focus on what it can do, not on what it cannot. And advertising does provide a positive backdrop demonstrating that as a society we are grown up about sex and sexuality. In this context we can be assured of real, honest and meaningful discussions about sex and relationships at home, at school, in youth and community groups. The sorts of discussions that young people tell us they want and have been for decades.

Another reminder that it is time to just get on with it.

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