Here at Crisp Thinking we believe that children should be shielded from inappropriate material – that’s why we’re so proud of our online moderation services. But whether it's on a computer screen or a piece of paper, we should all try to preserve the innocent minds of today’s children - children who already seem to be growing up far too quickly!
It was nice to see in the news this week that our view is apparently widely supported. The issue made headlines as Co-op gave an ultimatum to the creators of lads’ mags. They warned that if the magazines didn’t start covering up their covers, they would no longer be sold in about 4,000 shops across the country.
Titles such as Nuts, Loaded and Zoo now have until September 9 2013 to start putting their magazines in ‘modesty bags’ or risk losing a substantial chunk of their sales. As a community-based retailer, it seems that Co-op is listening to public opinion when making this decision, many of whom object to children being able to see sexual images.
The retailer will understandably side with its customers in an attempt to maintain loyalty and certainly doesn’t want its brand associated with enabling children to view inappropriate images. It’s a bold and brave move, but a commendable one.
Audiences should be given a choice about what they view, not involuntarily subjected to vulgar content in the blink of an eye. One glimpse and it's too late – it’s been seen, and there’s no telling of the affects such things may have on different people.
There doesn’t seem to be much proof that seeing girls in bikinis mentally messes with a child’s head, in fact most kids seem to giggle at the sight of bare flesh rather than start having nightmares or turn into sexual deviants - so perhaps it is more a matter of parental preference.
Either way, it’s safe to say that youngsters shouldn’t automatically see sexual images when popping to the shop to buy a bag of midget gems (kids still eat those, right?) and nor should they see them when browsing the internet.
Co-op has taken a stance and taken action, as have many brands online, but more people within more companies should think about what they would approve of their own children seeing and consider using image moderation to protect their online brand reputation and the innocence of the kids who view it.
Read Co-op’s full story here.