Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2001

Record firms upbraided for marketing practices

April 25, 2001


— The Federal Trade Commission, in a follow-up to its report of last September, offered chapter and verse against the recording industry Tuesday for failing to heed criticism that it markets violence to children.

The report largely praised the movie and video game industries for their efforts to stop singling out children as an audience for adult material.

The FTC found that all five major record labels still routinely advertised music with "explicit content" violent, lurid or obscene lyrics on afternoon and early evening shows that are popular with teens.

Universal Music Group, the world's largest music conglomerate, was cited for running ads for controversial artist Marilyn Manson on MTV's "Total Request Live" even though nearly 6 in 10 of its viewers are under 18. UMG also ran ads for acts such as Ludacris and Limp Bizkit on shows with large youth audiences, including UPN's "WWF Smackdown" and BET's "Top Ten Live."

In fact, BET's "Top Ten Live," with an audience made up of 41 percent minors, was the medium for 23 of the 35 commercials for recordings stickered with "parental advisory" warnings that federal officials cataloged during seven weeks in December and January.

The update on marketing of violent material to children by the movie, music and video game industries focused on two issues: whether adult-rated material was still being aimed at minors and whether entertainment company advertisements were clearly displaying the ratings.

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who had pushed for an FTC inquiry into Hollywood's marketing practices, rebuked record industry officials Tuesday for being "aloof" and failing "to enact any of the reforms it announced to Congress and the public."

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