Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Selling Violence to Kids

Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Selling Violence to Kids

Article excerpt

Should new laws restrict the marketing of entertainment?

YES If you entrust me with the presidency, I'm going to stand ... for decency and responsibility in our popular culture.

Today, the Federal Trade Commission is releasing a troubling new report, which spells out in black and white how hard it can be for parents to raise their children today.

Despite years of bipartisan efforts with the entertainment industry to develop tougher labeling and standards, a majority of movies, music, and video games rated as clearly inappropriate for kids are being aggressively marketed to kids. That's outrageous and wrong.

It's time for the entertainment industry to follow its own rules, and stop peddling violence and indecency to our kids....

Today, Joe Lieberman and I are calling for an immediate cease-fire on the marketing of adult material to children. Industry should adopt the FTC's recommendations [for tougher self-enforcement] right now.

Second, we're giving the industry a six-month deadline to adopt voluntary standards with real enforcement mechanisms to stop marketing adult material to kids.

Third, if the industry fails to act on its own--if it keeps breaking its own rules and misleading parents--we're going to support tougher measures to hold the industry accountable. If necessary, we'll support the strengthening of current laws to cover false and deceptive advertising that targets kids--consistent with the First Amendment. …

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