Date: 11th September 2000

FTC To Take On Networks On Sex And Violence

The Federal Trade Commission is due to release the results of a year-long study today (Monday) concluding that the entertainment industry has devised ways of circumventing its own ratings codes in order to entice underage kids to buy their products, published reports said today (Monday).

The 104-page study claims that many companies routinely promote material, tagged with parental warnings, to kids on television shows, in magazines and on youth-oriented Internet sites.

As reported by the New York Times, the FTC cited as an example the marketing plan for one unnamed R-rated, violence-packed film, which stated, "Our goal was to find the elusive teen target audience and make sure everyone between the ages of 12-18 was exposed to the film." Of 44 R-rated movies, 35 were targeted at teens, the report found. Research for eight of them reportedly included 12 year olds.

Titles of the films were not disclosed. MPAA chief Jack Valenti took issue with the agency's findings. He told today's (Monday) Wall Street Journal: "The FTC ought to say thank goodness for the movie industry. We don't deserve this kind of savagery from the FTC or any other part of the American government."

Source: Studio Briefing