LONDON: The UK government is planning a major study into the effects of advertising on children. It is part of a ten-year Children's Plan to be unveiled this week.

The secretary of state for children, Ed Balls, alleges that parents are alarmed at the number of ads and images that bombard youngsters via TV and, increasingly, online.

A recent National Consumer Council report found youngsters are exposed to hundreds of ads on their favourite websites.

The study, to be carried out by child psychologists and academics, will look at the potential damage of commercialisation at a younger age. Its findings will help the government make decisions over further advertising restrictions.

"Academics are concerned at the link between commercial advertising and child well-being, self-esteem and anxieties."

In addition, a ministerial group is to look at possible links between alcohol commercials and binge drinking among British youngsters.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff