Industry groups seek to promote parental TV control


Kids watching TV
An organization of organizations is embarking on a campaign to empower parents to control the video programming seen by their children with tools already widely available. Both the television and film industries are taking part in the effort.

In on the campaign are: 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.

“The industries will make a positive contribution to the national conversation on violent behavior by launching a national educational campaign through communications channels including television public service announcements, educational and informational websites, in-theater advertising, and other media,” said the group in a release.

The objective is to make sure parents are aware of tools included in set-top boxes and television sets, in particular filters and blocks that can keep children from seeing inappropriate material.

The elements of the campaign include:

* Public Service Advertising (which can be viewed at will air on broadcast, cable and other multichannel video outlets reminding parents of where to find and how 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 video 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 re-designed website,, will provide a one-stop solution for consumers seeking more information about the TV and movie ratings systems, parental control technology, and media literacy.

* A recently re-launched informational website,, 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 at their disposal, including digital assets and social media, in concert with the many ways in which their combined workforces interact with consumers, 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.