NAB, NCTA, MPAA, CEA

ALL-TV COALITION TOUTS V-CHIP CAMPAIGN ON HILL

In letter to members of House and Senate, group says educating parents about blocking technology is best way to control indecency.

Hoping to head off legislative efforts to curtail indecent TV programming, a coalition of the four major TV-related trade groups told every members of Congress that it would launch a campaign mid-year to make parents aware of the V-chip and other technology that they can use to block any programming they deem unacceptable from entering their homes.

“We hope you will conclude it is far wiser not to legislate but rather allow this unique parental education project to move forward,” the coalition said in a letter to each member of the House and Senate.

“The key reason is simple:  This voluntary plan is more far-reaching than any legislation can ever be,” the letter said. “Why is this so?  Because of the strictures of the First Amendment, legislation can only affect some 10%  to 15% of TV channels in most homes.  Moreover, every family is different in the choice of programs they think are suitable to watch.  By using the V-Chip, cable or DBS blocking mechanisms, parents can make their own decisions about what programs come into their homes.”

The coalition comprises the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Motion Picture Association of America and the Consumer Electronics Association.

At the heart of the campaign is the Ad Council, which will tap into “the best brains in creative advertising” to produce TV spots that networks, TV stations, cable systems and satellite TV operators have pledged to air “over and over and over again,” the letter said.

The coalition estimates the cost of the campaign, including donated air time, at around $300 million.

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