Businesses trading over the internet could soon have to implement new measures to restrict underage access to products if an age verification bill comes into effect – suggesting that their advertising campaigns may also be affected.

Those involved in online PR could have to revise their strategies if the online purchasing of goods and services (age verification) bill – which receives its second reading on October 19th – is passed into law, something that has caused rifts in the House of Lords.

Baroness Massey of Darwen, who introduced the legislation, remarked that the purchasing of items such as alcohol, solvents and knives could previously have been checked with identification, but the advent of the internet has meant that children are able to sidestep these regulations.

However, the Earl of Errol warned that the wording of the bill gives the government power to control access to other materials and "we must not outlaw methods of payment that will completely stop [young people] buying anything".

IMRG recently emphasised the importance of online age verification, stating that the industry requires mechanisms to identify how old consumers are, to protect themselves and minors.

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