A new report commissioned by UK Prime Minister David Cameron says that music videos should come with age ratings to protect children from overt sexual imagery and lyrics at an early age. The rating system is one of a number of proposals put forward by Reg Bailey, the head of the Mothers’ Union, as a way to curb the “sexualisation and commercialisation of children”. The BPI recently announced plans to extend its parental advisory scheme, which results in stickers being put on CDs which contain strong language or adult themes, to the digital domain for sites like YouTube.
Songwriter and producer Mike Stock of Stock Aitken Waterman Fame (Kylie, et all) has criticised the fashion for raunchy videos and performances from acts such as Rhianna, Nicole Scherzinger and Christina Aguilera – whose overtly sexual performance on the X-factor attracted thousands of complaints but narrowly avoided regulatory censure for broadcaster ITV. Stock blamed “American acts who have sexualised imagery, dance moves and lyrical content way beyond the limits of decency” adding that the UK’s 9pm “watershed” when it is a presumed an adult audience will be watching was “irrelevant” in the age of digital catch up TV with services such as the iPlayer allowing children to access any programmes they like.