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"As an industry, we do not market violence; we market artists."
—Hilary Rosen, RIAA

DC TALK: DO POLS MEAN
BIZ THIS TIME?

Trade Commission Tries To Win One For The Tipper
Second verse, same as the first.

Hollywood's music, film and TV industries are gearing up a defense plan to combat a government report that lambastes the entertainment industry for aggressively marketing violent fare to children.

Is this the same old song and dance that will result in little change? Or, because we're in a major election year, will the arguments carry more weight this time?

A Federal Trade Commission 100-page report—ordered by President Clinton after last year's Columbine High School shooting tragedy—found a "pervasive and aggressive" marketing of violent movies, music and electronic games to children, even materials labeled as appropriate only for adults.

In response, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was scheduled to conduct a Senate Commerce Committee hearing beginning on Wednesday (9/13). Among those expected to make the trip to DC were Artemis Records President Danny Goldberg, BMG Entertainment President/CEO strauss zelnick',390,400);">strauss zelnick',390,400);">Strauss Zelnick, MPAA chief Jack Valenti and Recording Industry Association of America chief hilary rosen',390,400);">hilary rosen',390,400);">Hilary Rosen. But the committee's hearing on the advertising practices would take place minus many of the invited top film and music executives.

Even so, some attending execs have definitive opinions, denying the report's accusations.

"As an industry, we do not market violence; we market artists," Rosen said in a statement. "When material is explicit, we clearly label it for parents and guardians to make informed buying decisions for their kids. Artistic freedom is a basic First Amendment right. As an industry, we are not in the business of dictating content to our artists—but we help parents and guardians make informed choices about their purchase decisions through our voluntary parental-advisory labels. Parents, not the government, have the responsibility for guiding children toward music that is appropriate for a child's age and maturity."

According to Rosen: "The Commission's own survey reports that a predominant 77% of parents are already aware of the current rating system for music. And a similarly large majority—74%—are ‘somewhat' or ‘very satisfied' with the current system of rating music. The recording industry announced revised guidelines, which have been in the works for some time. Recently, after consultation with the retailers, we have introduced uniform standards for applying the parental-advisory label, a policy regarding use of the parental advisory logo in consumer advertising and a policy regarding notice of the parental-advisory logo for Internet-based (or non-physical distribution) sales and promotions."

Goldberg, a political activist who will testify at the Senate hearings, added, "The Washington culture is sort of tone-deaf to teen and pop culture. I think it's bad and drives people away from politics, but I don't think it will hurt business."

Meanwhile, insiders said MTV and the WB TV network stand to suffer most if recommendations from the report are adopted. The report singled out MTV because advertising on the channel reaches a greater percentage of teenagers than any other cable channel.

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
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SANTA
Coming.
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