Tighter EU rules on child actors in ads may lead to delays

The use of child actors in commercials is threatened with major disruption because of a tightening of regulations by EU bureaucrats.

The use of child actors in commercials is threatened with major

disruption because of a tightening of regulations by EU bureaucrats.



As a result, agencies that want to feature child performers could face

delays in obtaining the necessary permission.



The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising is seeking a meeting with

the Department of Health and representatives of Britain’s local

authorities to prevent the system becoming bogged down in red tape.



The problem has been caused by legislation rushed through by the

Government before the summer recess and without notifying the industry

of its need to comply with the European Directive on the Protection of

Young People at Work.



Until last month, children could do commercials work for up to four days

within a six-month period without needing a licence from their local

authority.



Under the new law, all performances by children now need a licence, even

if a child only works for one day out of the year.



The changes could cause major problems because of town hall bureaucracy.

Simon Gallant, the IPA’s legal affairs director, said: ’We’ve already

had one local authority saying it needs 21 days’ notice for a licence

application.’



The Department of Health has given the IPA a written assurance that it

is sympathetic to the problem and will try to ensure that the

legislation is not rigidly enforced. But industry leaders fear future

difficulties.



One commentator said: ’It’s a very unsatisfactory situation and it’s

important that the Department of Health, local authorities and ourselves

agree a common approach.’



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