John Lewis children’s clothes go gender neutral, Bake-Off receives warm Channel 4 welcome, He-Man and Skeletor show their Dirty Dancing moves for Moneysupermarket, and NME helps students enter creative industries

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John Lewis goes gender neutral with kids clothing collection

Responding to campaigners calls for an end to gender stereotyping John Lewis has broken the mould and become the first High Street retailer to adopt a single clothing line labelled ‘boys and girls’ or ‘girls and boys’ in a move to lessen pressure on parents to purchase particular colours, patterns and styles for their children.

Caroline Bettis, head of childrenswear at John Lewis, commented: “We do not want to reinforce gender stereotypes within our John Lewis collections and instead want to provide greater choice and variety to our customers, so that the parent or child can choose what they would like to wear.”

New labels announcing the change appear on all own-brand clothing aimed at children aged between 0 and 14 in addition to gender neutral designs which include dresses patterned with dinosaurs and toy soldiers.

Campaign group Let Clothes be Clothes said it was ‘thrilled’ by the change in policy, which is expected to be reflected online shortly, but other Twitter users were less happy, exclaiming that ‘The world’s gone barking mad’.

Last month leading children’s shoe-manufacturer Clarks got in hot water after labelling a girls’ shoe range ‘Dolly Babe’ and a concurrent line for boys as ‘Leader’, sparking a sexism row.

Channel 4’s Great British Bake-Off launches with largest C4 audience in 5 years

6.5m viewers watched Channel 4’s first episode of The Great British Bake Off last week, winning the channel its largest audience in 5 years and a 30% share.

The ratings were lower than when the show appeared on the BBC, where it regularly got over 10m viewers. Channel 4 claimed The Great British Bake Off, which has new presenters Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig and Prue Leith, was the highest rating show since the 2012 Paralympics’ opening ceremony.

Ad buyers also gave a broadly positive response to the programme. Four food brands, KFC, Stork, PG Tips and Carte D’Or, appeared in the first ad break, along with eBay, Freeview and Kia Sportage.

The show got almost twice the audience of Channel 4’s previous highest rating programme this year, Diana: In Her Own Words, which was seen by 3.5m viewers.

Channel 4 also claimed it won its highest peak-time share for 16-34s in over 10 years, since Big Brother.

Helen McRae, chief executive of Mindshare, said she was “positive” after seeing the first show and the reaction on social media had been broadly “good”.

She added that ad buyers will want to see if the audience continues as some viewers may have tuned in out of “curiosity” but she said: “I think it will be a success.”

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, said: “The Great British Bake Off’s audience last night proves it’s still one of the country’s favourite shows. I am delighted millions watched the new team put 12 magnificent bakers through their paces. It’s the largest share of young audiences we’ve had for a show for over a decade.”

Becker noticed some Twitter comments “complaining about ads” but said viewers must recognise a free-to-air show “needs to be paid for somehow”.

Lyle’s golden syrup and Dr Oetker are sponsoring the series. gets more epic with Dirty Dancing inspired campaign

He-Man and Skeletor are back, 80s style, for, as the arch enemies take to the floor and recreate iconic moves from the 1987 film, Dirty Dancing.

In an ad launched during The X Factor, the Masters of the Universe put their differences to one side so they could celebrate the feeling of saving money on bills, through the power of dance.

NME partners with university to help young people enter creative industries

NME, the Time Inc-owned music title, is working with the University of Salford to expand a programme designed to enable young people to break into the creative industries, into a year-long campaign.

The campaign “#LifeHacks” brings speakers to students from various industries including music, fashion, film and tech, to talk ‘careers advice’.

Two flagship events with discussions, question and answer sessions and workshops with university staff will also feature as part of the campaign.

A “Hack-Space” will also enable entrepreneurs to test out their presentation skills and showcase their start-up businesses, as well as a networking masterclass. The flagship events will close with a live music performance.

Jamal Edwards, founder of entertainment company SB.TV, was the headline speaker at last year’s event, and rapper/songwriter Tinie Tempah performed an intimate gig at the end.

NME will also offer 20 work placements through its Ultimate Work Experience programme.

Mike Williams, NME’s editor-in-chief, said: “With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it’s never been more important to support the development of young people.

“Working with the University of Salford will ensure that NME LifeHacks is bigger and more effective than ever, meaning that more young people will be inspired to follow their dreams and make the most of the opportunities around them.”

Hannah Burchell, associate director of marketing at the University of Salford, added: “Helping today’s young people to identify and take advantage of opportunities to work directly with business and industry experts is at the heart of our teaching model.

“We look to equip our students with the skills and confidence to thrive in an ever changing world and working with NME brings a unique and inspirational approach to preparing young people for life.”

The first event will run on 23 November.

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