Watchdog moves to curb sexualised songs on radio

Media watchdog Ofcom is clamping down on radio broadcasters which flout rules meant to protect children from inappropriate music lyrics.

Ofcom is concerned about a number of cases where “offensive language was broadcast, some at times when children were particularly likely to have been listening”.

The watchdog has met with the radio industry and plans to publish guidance “by the end of the year to clarify the rules in the broadcasting code”.


The move comes as it is revealed the Government is to look at putting cinema-style age classifications on music videos.

Although current radio rules ban inappropriate or offensive material when children may be listening, Ofcom says they are being flouted.

A spokeswoman said: “Ofcom takes its role in protecting children from offensive language on the radio very seriously.

“We are concerned that there have been a number of recent cases where offensive language was broadcast, some at times when children were particularly likely to have been listening. That is why we held a meeting with the radio industry this week to discuss the issues.”


Ofcom’s comments come after it was revealed that the Government is to look at cracking down on inappropriate music videos being seen by children.

The Sunday Times reports that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will launch a consultation on the issue in January, before amending existing legislation to enforce 12A, 15 and 18 certifications.

Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers’ Union, who recently led a review on child sexualistion, said: “Parents have told us they are worried that music videos are influencing [their children] in the wrong way.


“One woman said she was concerned about her son and the attitude he was taking towards girls based on how girls were treated in music videos”.

He added: “It’s part of this unthinking drift to a more sexualised society. Once a film is rated it will be embedded as a code wherever it is shown. It will allow those with parental controls on their computer to prevent their children watching it.”

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