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Trade Groups Aim to Clarify Ratings

6 Jun, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

An umbrella organization for entertainment retail trade groups has developed a Web site and public service announcement to help parents make informed decisions about appropriate entertainment for their families.

The Coalition of Entertainment Retail Trade Associations (CERTA) said the Web site, www.erlam.org, will provide information in multimedia formats about the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) movie rating system, the computer and video game ratings system, the music labeling system, and the various entertainment rating and labeling policies of theaters, video stores, computer and video game stores, and music retailers.

The public service announcement, which will play on in-store monitors in about 5,000 video stores, seeks to remind parents that the ratings and labeling systems are in place to help them guide their children's entertainment consumption.

Both programs are being launched in conjunction with the start of Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month.

CERTA members include the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA), the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and the Digital Media Association.

Separately, the VSDA is asking its member retailers to designate one employee as a “ratings compliance officer.” The employee would be responsible for making sure everyone in the company adheres to internal policies regarding movie and video game ratings. The ratings compliance officer is modeled after a successful NATO program, said VSDA president Bo Andersen.

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