Tuesday, June 1, 1999


"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 Clinton
June 1, 1999

Today, 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.

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:

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:

The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives