PEGI SA has given videogame publishers an 83.2 per cent compliance rating for the accuracy of their adverts, in the first ever PEGI Advertising Compliance report.
Using the strictest possible interpretation of current guidelines PEGI SA, the non-for-profit company responsible for the day-to-day management of the pan-European age rating system, looked at more than 1000 adverts from 60 different publishers in eight countries.
France had the highest rate of compliance at 91.9 per cent, followed by Spain at 91.6 per cent, Italy at 88.3 per cent, Belgium at 88 per cent, the UK at 85.9 per cent, The Netherlands at 83.5 per cent, Denmark at 81.8 per cent and Poland at 78.9 per cent.
Labelling guidelines indicate exactly how a PEGI age rating label must be displayed on game packaging and in advertisements, with strict rules on the size of rating labels and the duration of their appearance in video advertising.
The report covered the period from November 2009 to January 2009 and found an 86.7 per cent compliance rating for print ads and 82.8 per cent for TV advertising.
Online advertising had only a 69.3 per cent compliance rating, although this was put down in large part to technical constraints on the size and frequency of Web banners.
"PEGI SA considers this result a very good start, with room for improvement," said Simon Little, MD of PEGI SA. "The purpose of the project is not only to show the commitment of the industry to educate consumers about PEGI, but also to create a practical point of reference to improve the labelling guidelines and to set a benchmark for a higher compliance rate in the future."
The PEGI age rating system will become legally binding in the UK in the next parliament, after the Digital Economy Act was passed earlier this week. The actual classification of games is contracted to separate organisations around Europe, with the VSC (Video Standards Council) taking responsibility in the UK.
The full PEGI Advertising Compliance report can be viewed here (PDF).