FTC to Entertainment: Stop Marketing Violence to Kids

Friday, 04 Dec 2009 05:19 PM

By Brett Sandala

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It’s too easy for kids to get their hands on movies, music, and video games with adult-rated content, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Although improvements have been made in restricting access, marketing still targets a younger audience than the ratings should allow, says an FTC report released Thursday.

In particular, “unrated” and “director’s cut” DVD film releases are becoming more popular, and parents are just not informed as to their content. One-third of parents surveyed were unaware that such versions were available with previously rated films upon DVD release, the FTC found.

To investigate, the FTC commissioned teams of secret shoppers ages 13 to 16. Fifty percent were successful in purchasing R-rated DVDs, and 72 percent were able to buy music CDs with explicit lyrics.

The video game industry made the greatest strides in containing its content, the report says. The movie industry has made progress as well, but the music business is lagging behind since the commission’s first report to Congress in 2000.

The report acknowledges that all three venues of entertainment have complied with their own standards, but those standards need to be “tightened and more strictly enforced.”

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