NEWS: Labour MPs slam Safeway’s ‘suggestive’ TV spot

Labour MPs have condemned the new Safeway TV campaign, which features young children, warning that it could encourage sexual abuse of children by adults.

Labour MPs have condemned the new Safeway TV campaign, which features

young children, warning that it could encourage sexual abuse of children

by adults.



Nine MPs have signed a House of Commons motion deploring the use of

children and ‘sexually suggestive adult-dubbed dialogue’ in ads in which

Harry, the star of the Bates Dorland campaign, is given a three-year-old

girlfriend, Molly (Campaign, last week). In one spot, Harry expresses

regret that there is ‘no chance of a snog, then?’.



The motion declares: ‘We believe such advertising techniques used

regularly on British television amount to exploitation of children, and

probably enthuse paedophiles more than they stimulate consumer demand.’



The Commons protest was led by Tony Banks, the left-wing MP for Newham

North West, who is parliamentary adviser to both the Broadcasting,

Entertaining, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (Bectu) and the Musicians’

Union.



Another MP who signed the backbench petition, Denis MacShane, told

Campaign: ‘Safeway has been sold a smartarse bit of advertising and has

not worked out its implications.’



MacShane, MP for Rotherham and a moderniser who is a strong supporter of

Tony Blair, added: ‘I was appalled by the soft voices and ‘come-on’

approach in the ads. I loathe the representation of children as adults.’



However, MacShane said he was not calling for the ad to be banned. ‘I am

not the censoring type,’ he said.



A Safeway spokesman said: ‘We refute absolutely the charge that sexual

connotations have been used to achieve commercial ends. To read any more

into the ads makes us wonder if the complainants have seen them.’



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