Cameron, more public procurement and banning advertisers

I'm actually getting slightly disturbed about this.  It does seem to be every day now we get a new Conservative initiative that has major public procurement or supply chain implications.  I'm worried about cold turkey when it all finished - what am I going to write about?

Today it is reports that advertisers will be 'banned from winning government contracts for 3 years' if they 'target children and  sexualise  the young'.

Now here's  another policy that many of us would support conceptually. My daughter thank goodness is past all that now but it is easy to be disturbed by these issues. But, I'm afraid we come back to practicality.  Firstly, who is going to judge when an advertiser steps over the line?  And how do we draw the line?  Encouraging 13 year old girls to train as cheerleaders might be seen as a great way for young girls to keep in shape; or distasteful sexualisation.

And what about these brilliant ads - do they target children?   So who decides?  A new regulatory body?  A Commission?  A Tzar?  The Daily Mail editorial team?  Whatever it is, it will cost money at a time when public budgets will be under severe pressure.

Secondly, isn't this illegal under EU procurement regulations?  I would be interested in OGC's view on this but my understanding is that banning bidders from public contracts is not a simple matter.  It may be that if new laws are created in this area, and if firms break those laws, that might give a valid reason for exclusion.  But I don't think a government can merely decide a particular firm is 'banned' as easily as that.

Comments and views appreciated.

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