Feeds

Hollywood pushes violent movies, games on kids – FTC

Amazing pre-election timing

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accuses the entertainment industry of targeting children with adverts for every manner of sleazy movie and bloody computer game, in a scathing report released Monday.

"Companies in the entertainment industry routinely undercut their own rating restrictions by target marketing violent films, records, and video games to young audiences," FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky said in a Washington press conference Monday.

The report revealed marketing plans and other industry materials which specifically advocate marketing to children under seventeen. Producers advertise violent games and movies on television programming which runs during after-school hours, during programmes popular among children such as Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in print media such as Teen, Jump, DC Comics and Marvel Comics, and in school newspapers. The FTC found that Hollywood studios also market-tested eight R-rated films on 12-year-olds and, in at least one case, ten-year-olds.

The report found that 83 of 118 'mature' video games were marketed to children ages 16 and younger, despite ratings indicating that they were suitable only for 17 year old and older buyers. Of the 11 video game producers contacted by the FTC, ten released documents to the agency indicating that boys younger than 17 were the primary target audiences for mature-rated blood-fest games like Quake.

"It's hard to say that just a few bad actors are giving the industry a bad name here," Pitofsky observed. The objectionable marketing practices, he said, are both "pervasive and aggressive."

Meanwhile, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Jack Valenti trumpeted Hollywood's restraint in marketing entertainment meant for mature viewers. "For almost 32 years, this industry has been the only segment of our national marketplace that voluntarily turns away revenues at the box office to redeem the pledge that we have made to parents," he warbled.

The FTC report followed a year-long investigation requested by US President Bill Clinton in a knee-jerk response to the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado last Summer.

Political Manna from Heaven

President Clinton, New York Senate candidate Hillary Clinton, and Presidential candidate Al Gore all scrambled to exploit the political capital of an endangered generation of innocents, and all were surprisingly well prepared.

Gore and running mate Joseph Lieberman said they would propose legislation or regulatory authority over the entertainment industry if it does not stop marketing violent material to children.

The report's release just happened to coincide with Gore's scheduled appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where he spent some quality time pandering to women.

"Tipper started 20 years ago educating me about why parents need more help, and she was successful in convincing the recording industry in giving warnings to parents when material is inappropriate. Now Joe Lieberman and I are following up on that, to try to persuade all the companies in that industry to abide by what they said they would do," the Veep told Winfrey.

Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush said that parents must play stronger roles in protecting their children, and observed that opponent Gore has received a great deal of campaign money from Hollywood supporters. He stopped short of questioning the timing of the report's release, and the exceptional preparation of the Clintonites in using it as campaign material.

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold hearings Wednesday on the FTC's findings. Numerous threats of legislative action will be made, to inspire the industry to regulate itself better. But as the entertainment industry is a prodigious contributor to political campaigns on both sides of the aisle, the chance that Congress might actually follow through is remote at best. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?