In 2010, the childhood market was estimated to be worth £99 billion in the UK. In 2015, the toy industry is booming in the UK with £2.6 million spent on traditional toys, and with children spending an average of £278 each on toys a year - one of the highest rates amongst OECD countries. Overall, spending on all marketing and advertising in the UK has risen steadily over the past 14 years, encouraging families to spend, spend, spend.
Our new research shows that parents and carers feel that they and their children are bombarded with commercial messaging through traditional and online media, and that this places undue pressure on family life.
"I feel marketing puts my child in a vulnerable position. Marketing can be aggressive, and I wonder if a child knows that they can say no? Do they know to critically analyse the information presented? My guess is no, unless they are taught that there are other viewpoints it is hard for children to naturally not accept a message at face value."
However, campaigns such as Bye Buy Childhood are making a difference. Since 2010 there have been a number of changes to ensure that children are better protected and parents and carers more supported in managing the commercial world. You, too, can play a part in ensuring that children are valued as children, not consumers
Bye Buy Childhood engagement pack
Our Downloadable resource full of ideas for family activities, information on where to find support, suggestions on lobbying your MP and prayerful reflections.
Following the Bailey Review, regulations and guidance have been tightened to ensure that children are not exposed to publications, advertising and media content unsuitable for their age. Help us keep track of whether guidelines are being followed by filling in our compliance surveys and returning them to the Bye Buy Childhood campaign.
If you live in Ireland and have a complaint about something you have seen on television, you can get a pre-addressed postcard to Ofcom or the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Simply fill in the postcard with your complaint and pop it in the postbox.
For apostcard in Ireland, please contact +353 1 873 5075 or firstname.lastname@example.org