Entertainment Industry Ratings Disclosures and the Clear and Conspicuous Standard

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Journal of Consumer Affairs

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This study examined entertainment ratings disclosures against the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC’s) Clear and Conspicuous Standard (CCS). In their investigation of marketing of violent entertainment to youth, the FTC advocated that the motion picture, music recording, and electronic games industries focus on “ensuring that the rating … and the reasons for the rating … are effectively and clearly communicated to parents” (p. 31). An investigation of a week of prime-time television commercials across six networks revealed that with the exception of dual modality presentation of the letter rating, ratings disclosure information is often incomplete and falls far short of meeting the FTC's CCS. We offer recommendations to the entertainment industry to address these shortcomings.


Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Summer 2006):117–143. DOI.