A multimedia public service effort is designed to raise parental awareness of TV and film ratings, parental controls, media literacy and mental health issues.
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The television and film industries today announced plans to roll out a national multimedia campaign to inform parents about tools that can help them manage what their children see on television and at the movies.
The national educational campaign will appear on television public service announcements, educational and informational websites, in-theater advertising and other media.
The groups said the objectives of the initiative are to remind parents that:
- · TV and film rating systems, parental controls in TV sets and set-top boxes, and a variety of informational resources, are available to help families learn and practice “media literacy.”
- · These “readily available and easy-to-use elements can aid decision making about viewing and experiencing content; block content that may be objectionable for children; and inform families about how to better control, filter and evaluate the content they’re viewing.”
The consumer awareness initiative is sponsored by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), American Cable Association (ACA) and the member companies of those groups; as well as DirecTV and Verizon FiOS.
Elements of the Campaign
Campaign participants will roll out a variety of initiatives in coming months to promote and publicize tools and information for parents.
- · Public service advertising (which can be viewed here) will air on broadcast, cable and other multichannel video outlets reminding parents of where to find and ho w to use the TV and film rating systems, and parental control blocking technology. The advertising includes video spots previously created by the Ad Council, as well as spots created by cable and broadcast outlets and their trade associations.
- · Advertising about the film rating system will be produced and featured in movie theaters nationwide.
- · A multifaceted and recently redesigned website, TheTVBoss.org, will provide more information about the TV and movie ratings systems, parental control technology and media literacy.
- · A recently re-launched informational website, FilmRatings.com, will focus on the film rating system, providing rating descriptors unique to each movie as well as detailed information on the meaning of specific ratings.
- · Campaign participants will use multiple communication channels, including digital assets and social media to help inform viewers and customers of where to find information on the ratings systems, and how to activate and use TV parental controls.
- · Broadcasters, in consultation with Associated Press, the Entertainment Industries Council, and other groups, will develop public service initiatives related to mental health, including creating a style guide to help educate journalists, television and film producers, directors and writers on mental health terminology. The initiative will produce additional public service materials for use by participants in the campaign.
The groups said the messages of the initiative are based on three key concepts:
- · Choice—“The TV and film industries produce, create and distribute a wide array of content choices that appeal to many interests and audiences. The industries widely promote and market this content in a manner that helps parents make sound media choices and allows family members of all ages to enjoy appropriate and rich media experiences.”
- · Control—“Through parental controls provided by cable companies, satellite providers and telephone companies; the TV-based V-chip; and ratings systems for movies and TV, the industries give parents and caregivers powerful options to help control and manage the media enjoyed by their families.”
- · Education—“Through industry efforts, parents can learn about the tools available to them, and, with media literacy resources, help children and families understand and place in context what they watch on television, see at the movies and absorb through other media.”
The groups said the public service advertising and collateral materials featured throughout the campaign are designed to “help consumers better understand the TV and film rating systems, remind them to ‘be the boss’ of their TVs, encourage them to consume media together as families and help children understand the media they consume.”
The partners in the initiative said they will monitor the progress of the campaign and update messages and tools to keep pace with developments in the marketplace.