The Federal Trade Commission, in a joint effort with the Department of Justice, will conduct a study on the marketing practices of the entertainment industry to determine whether and to what extent the industry markets violent material rated for adults to children, the agency announced today.
FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky commenting on the study acknowledged the shared concerns of government, industry and consumer groups about the instances of senseless violence that have plagued the country's young people. "Recent events have dramatically highlighted that all of us need to do more to address these concerns," he said. "The particular focus of this study is to determine whether and to what extent the entertainment industry markets to children movies, recordings and video games that have been rated as inappropriate because of the violent content.'
"In considering this issue, we recognize that the motion picture, video game and recording industries have taken voluntary self-regulatory steps to rate the appropriateness of their products for children. These measures provide parents with valuable information to judge what products are appropriate. The study will look at whether more should be done. We know that to be helpful and effective our assessment must be objective. It must be sensitive to First Amendment considerations. It must be conducted in cooperation with the more responsible elements of the industries we examine. And it must provide a factual basis against which the need for improvement in self-regulatory efforts can be evaluated," Pitofsky said.
The Federal Trade Commission has long been a strong supporter of industry self-regulation in a wide variety of areas. The agency has considerable knowledge of advertising and marketing practices and a long history of studying and reporting on a broad range of advertising and marketing issues, to assist decisionmakers in industry and government.
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