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Retailers ban 'sexy' undies for under-12s

By Martin Hickman

Thongs, black underwear and padded bras have been banned for sale to under-12s by high street retailers after a backlash against the sexualisation of children.

Marks & Spencer, Next, Tesco and other chains have agreed to guidelines that bar them from stocking clothes that "sexualise or unduly gender stereotype" children under 12.

The guidelines are published today as the Government releases a review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, which is expected to recommend several steps to reverse a trend considered by many parents to be damaging and weird.

David Cameron ordered the review by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers' Union, following a series of examples of retailers using sexual or inappropriate branding on children's products.

The guidelines rule out slogans and imagery with "sexually suggestive, demeaning, derogative or political material, or phrasing that could be interpreted as such."

The eight-page document says: "Knickers and pants must provide modesty; thongs are not appropriate for children."

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