THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, June 1, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
ADDRESSING THE MARKETING OF VIOLENCE TO CHILDREN
"To any company that sells violent products, I say this: Children are more than consumers. They are our future, and our most precious resource. They should not be targets in the marketing of violence."
President Bill ClintonToday, at the White House, President Clinton announced that the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice will conduct a joint study of the marketing practices of entertainment industries to determine whether they are marketing violent media and other adult-oriented material to children. The President also challenged retailers to enforce age restrictions so that inappropriate material is kept out of the hands of children.
June 1, 1999
Studying the Marketing of Violent Media to Children. As part of his continuing efforts to reduce youth violence, President Clinton announced today that the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice will conduct a study to determine whether and how the video game, motion picture, and recording industries market violent, adult-rated material to children. The study will examine:
- whether these industries advertise violent and other material intended for adults in media outlets where children comprise a substantial percentage of the audience;
- whether they use other marketing practices which are designed to attract children to violent material;
- whether they have adopted procedures to restrict the sale of adult-rated products to children; and
- whether these procedures are effective in restricting children's access to adult-oriented material.
Challenging Entertainment Industry Distributors to Enforce Ratings. A key to shielding children from exposure to excessively violent media is for retailers to ask for identification at the point of sale. According to a recent study, only nine percent of retail stores that rent video games refused to rent adult-rated games to minors. In an effort to address this issue, the Washington State Retail Association and the Interactive Digital Software Association are working together to create a point-of-sale system that will remind clerks to ask for identification from buyers. The President challenged the nation's retailers to follow the lead of those in Washington State and enforce the ratings systems when selling or renting adult-rated material to children.
A Campaign to Address Youth Violence. In an effort to comprehensively address the causes of youth violence, the President is launching a national campaign on the issue. Announced at last month's White House Strategy Session on Children, Violence and Responsibility, the campaign will involve community and religious leaders, the gun and entertainment industries, educators, parents, and young people. It will call on all sectors of society to take responsibility for reducing youth violence and will disseminate efforts that are working throughout the nation.
Helping Parents to Make the Right Choices for Their Children. Numerous studies have shown that violent programming increases children's aggression toward others and desensitizes them to violence. Ensuring that the entertainment industries and retail outlets are not marketing, selling or renting adult-rated materials to children will make it easier for parents to control the movies, music and games their children see, and decrease the likelihood of children being exposed to inappropriate material. The President and Vice President have taken additional steps to give parents the tools they need to protect their children, including:
- working with the television industry to develop a voluntary ratings system;
- establishing a task force to ensure that V-chip technology is available to and understood by parents;
- securing a commitment by Internet companies to develop a parents' protection page on the Internet; and
- supporting the development of a ratings system for Internet game sites.
The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives