The FTC Criticize Marketers of Violet Music, Movies and Video Games

FTC Renews Call to Entertainment Industry to Curb Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children

Marketers of violent music, movies, and video games can do more to restrict the promotion of these products to children, according to the seventh in a series of Federal Trade Commission reports on marketing violent entertainment to children.

“The Commission has been reviewing and reporting on the movie, music, and video game industries’ advertising and marketing practices relating to violent entertainment for 10 years now,” noted FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a separate statement accompanying the report. “Despite considerable improvements, the self-regulatory systems are far from perfect.” He also emphasized that “in the future, it will be particularly important to address the challenges presented by emerging technologies – such as mobile gaming – that are quickly changing the ways that children access entertainment.”

The FTC’s report states that the music industry still has not adopted objective marketing standards limiting ad placement for explicit-content music. As a result, the industry still advertises music labeled with a Parental Advisory Label (PAL) on television shows viewed by a substantial number of children. Music retailers routinely sell labeled music to unaccompanied teens.

The report also finds that movie studios intentionally market PG-13 movies to children under 13, and the movie industry does not have explicit standards in place to restrict this practice. The growing practice of releasing unrated DVDs undermines the rating system, and confuses parents.

Both the video game and movie industries can do more to limit ad placement on Web sites that disproportionately attract children and teens, according to the report.

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Take Action: Stop PG-13 Blockbusters from Targeting Preschoolers

Stop PG-13 Blockbusters from Targeting Preschoolers

In response to a complaint filed by CCFC in 2007, the Federal Trade Commission urged the Motion Picture Association of America—the self-regulating body of Hollywood movie studios that administers film ratings in the United States—to develop a policy to “ensure that PG-13 movies are not marketed in a manner inconsistent with their rating.” Sixteen months later, the MPAA has not honored that request, and children’s television stations continue to barrage young viewers with ads for violent PG-13 movies and their related merchandise. The PG-13 rating bears the warning “Parents strongly cautioned: Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.”

Like other PG-13 blockbusters premiering this summer, the upcoming GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, based on the Hasbro action figure, promises viewers no shortage of bombs, bullets, and destruction — and another explosion of marketing that targets children. GI Joe is rated PG-13 for “strong sequences of action violence and mayhem throughout.” Since March, over 3,000 ads have aired on children’s television for violent PG-13 films as well as their licensed toy and fast food promotions.

Read more and take action at Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

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