Group Calls June Ratings Awareness Month20 May, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik
Five industry associations representing companies that provide movies, music and video games to consumers have banned together to declare June 2004 as “Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month,” borrowing from a program that the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) has implemented for the past three years.
Acting as the Coalition of Entertainment Retail Trade Associations (CERTA), the VSDA joins the Digital Media Association (DiMA), the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) in this initiative to “redouble efforts to educate employees as well as America's parents about entertainment ratings and labeling systems,” according to a joint statement made by the group.
CERTA represents about 40,000 theaters, video and video game stores, music stores, online music sites and other retail operations.
During June, the group plans to implement programs that will encourage their member retailers and exhibitors to re-examine their ratings and labeling education programs and policies, review these with their employees and make additional efforts to educate their customers on the appropriate ratings systems applicable to their products. The group plans to distribute ratings and labeling education materials to retailers and exhibitors, and conduct a public relations campaign to raise awareness and use of entertainment ratings systems by consumers.
The California state legislature is currently considering legislation that would, among other issues involving merchandising of video games, require retailers to post ratings information on video games from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).