NSPCC advertisement banned for using 10 year old research

The claim that ‘One in Six’ children are abused is based on field work they carried out in 1998/9.

The advertising standards authority received six complaints about NSPCC’s national press advertisement, which claimed “One in six children in the UK is sexually abused – help stop it”, ruling that the advert breached its codes on substantiation and truthfulness and must not appear again.

The source of the statistic was a paper, “Child maltreatment in the United Kingdom a study of the prevalence of child abuse and neglect”.

The paper by Pat Cawson, Corinne Wattam, Sue Brooker and Graham Kelly, published in November 2000 analysed a survey of 2,869 18-24 year olds, so one could also argue that they weren’t talking about children, but young adults.

It saddens me to see that the NSPCC have damaged their reputation like this with a question mark raised over the integrity of the information they use.

A lesson to us all – use up to date information that is properly challenged and fit for purpose, otherwise the strength of what we do comes into question.


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