Monday, March 22, 2004

Regulate this!

The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland is finally stepping in to protect our children. No, they're not worried about the excessive sexualization of television & radio broadcasting, they're worried about snack foods! I'm not kidding.

The BCI wants to, among other things, prevent celebrities, sports stars or children's heroes from promoting food or drink. What? These same people have no problem with Sex & the City on at 9pm, but have a big problem with Roy Keane advertising snack food?

The fact that such a ban will only have an impact on smaller Irish manufacturers and Irish broadcasters isn't even the worst thing about it. The worst thing about this ban is it's an unnecessary restriction on freedom of speech. Why should a celebrity be unable to earn money promoting products?

Also, how will they determine which ads are aimed at children? Do these people think that Roy Keane's face doesn't sell junk food to 18 year olds? What about ads for mobile phones that use David Beckham? And, what if the celebrity doesn't make the ad, but they use a look-alike?

The whole thing is crazy. Parents need to learn how to say 'NO' and the government needs to learn stay out.