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FTC Gives Mixed Reviews to Hollywood on ‘R'-Rated Marketing

3 Jul, 2002 By: Kurt Indvik

Hollywood studios continue to advertise ‘R'-rated movies during TV shows that are popular with teenagers, a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report states.

In the third follow-up to the FTC's September 2000 report to Congress, “Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children,” the commission notes movie studios continue to improve rating information in ads, although some ratings disclosures are difficult to read.

The film industry places virtually no ads for ‘R'-rated entertainment in teen magazines, said the report, and continues to meet its commitment not to market ‘R'-rated movies in venues with a youth audience of 35 percent or more.

The challenge is that hit shows that skew to young adults but have less than 35 percent teen audience still attract millions of teen viewers.

“We're pleased that the report, like the three previous reports on the topic, did not identify any failings on ratings education and ratings enforcement from video stores,” said Sean Bersell, Video Software Dealers Association VP of public affairs.

The FTC lauded the video game industry for its efforts in restricting marketing of ‘M'-rated games in media venues where teens make up 35 percent of the audience (in TV) and 45 percent of the audience (for print).

The game industry prominently displays ratings information in most forms of advertising and, while it noted the industry could improve its content description for TV advertising, said, “there is much in the game industry's rating disclosure requirements that merits duplication by others.”

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