Concurring Statement of Commissioner Orson Swindle
Concerning the Federal Trade Commission's Twenty-One Month Follow-Up Review of Industry Practices in the Motion Picture, Music Recording and Electronic Game Industries
I support continued Commission monitoring and reporting regarding the marketing of violent entertainment to children. With our reports, we contribute helpful information to the public debate on the extent to which such marketing targets children and teens and the means by which industry can empower parents to make and enforce informed decisions about appropriate entertainment for their children.
Nonetheless, the First Amendment appropriately limits what the government can do. Despite our scrutiny, the music industry continues to target young people explicitly in its advertising and, for the most part, refuses to provide content-based information that could help consumers. The motion picture and electronic game industries have acted far more responsibly in improving their self-regulatory programs, yet continue to allow advertising of R-rated movies and M-rated games in venues that attract large numbers of teens. To varying degrees, all of the industries fall short in effectively communicating the rating or label as well as the reasons for it. What becomes clear as we continue with our series of reports is that if the public wants a change in these marketing practices, the public must demand that change and express its wishes in the currency of the marketplace.