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FTC Concerned Over Continued Marketing of Violent Content to Children

Alexander C. Hart
LA Times
December 4, 2009

Entertainment companies need to further restrict the way violent content is marketed to children, the Federal Trade Commission declared in a report released Thursday.

Although the report says the film and video-game industries have "devoted substantial efforts" to their rating systems, the FTC recommended that those groups and the music industry expand their self-policing efforts.

A major area of concern identified by the agency is the growing availability of unrated or "director's cut" editions of films, which the report says makes it harder for parents to select movies appropriate for their children.

"The unrated movie DVDs are not only accepted in the marketplace, but they're proliferating," said Keith Fentonmiller, a commission lawyer and co-author of the report.

According to the commission's research, one in three parents did not know that film companies could release unrated editions of movies that had been rated for their theatrical releases.

The FTC wants movie companies to re-rate movies when different versions are released for home audiences.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America, which rates movies, said in a statement that it was committed to ensuring that films are marketed appropriately and to "providing parents with clear, concise information about the content of movies so they can make informed decisions about their children's movie-going experience."

Other areas of concern, according to the report, are the marketing of PG-13 movies to kids younger than 13 and the music industry's reluctance to stop marketing music with explicit content to children





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