Ratings Enforcement Pride
months ago I wrote a column for this space informing
NATO members that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
was investigating ratings enforcement at cinemas again.
In that column I called on all exhibitors to continue
and enhance their efforts. Had I only known what I know
now, I would have also thanked all of you for your SUCCESSFUL
The commission has now released the
results of its third ratings enforcement investigation.
According to the FTC
report, America’s movie theatres made substantial
improvement in their efforts to enforce the movie ratings.
CONGRATULATIONS! The commission’s 2003 nationwide
survey of the ratings compliance records of movie theatres
and other entertainment retailers also indicate that the
exhibition industry had the best enforcement record of
any of the industries surveyed (see figure 1).
Commission staff, through a contractor, recruited
13- to 16-year-olds unaccompanied by a parent and instructed
them to attempt to purchase movie tickets, movies on DVD,
music recordings, and electronic games at 899 theatres
and stores in 39 states.
The teen shoppers also noted whether the
store or theatre had signs, posters, or other information
to inform customers
about the ratings system or the seller’s policy on
ratings enforcement. Once again, theatres improved their
record. And once again, theatres have the best record of
all four industries (see figure 2).
We are obviously proud of our members and their ratings
enforcement records. But as I told the media in our release
on this subject, we are not yet satisfied. Though we are
pleased that exhibition has the best enforcement record,
we will continue to enhance our efforts and improve our
record in the years to come.
|CONGRATULATIONS! The Federal Trade Commission’s
2003 nationwide survey of the ratings compliance records
of movie theatres and other entertainment retailers
also indicate that the exhibition industry had the
best enforcement record of any of the industries surveyed.
I want to note particularly how easy it is to post ratings
information in your theatres. Though 62 percent is much
better than the other industries, there is no reason why
this number should not be 100 percent. If you need more
free ratings posters, please contact the NATO offices.
And again, thank you for all of your efforts.