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Games industry best regulated of all entertainment sectors

FTC report commends responsible ads and marketing

A report to Congress released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has concluded the games industry "outpaces" all other entertainment industries with regards to responsible marketing and advertising.

The sale of mature-rating products to children is deterred with prominently displayed rating information, and 80 per cent of sales of adult games to minors are prevented by retailers, it said.

In addition, M-rated game ads weren't shown prior to 10pm, adverts and retailer websites properly displayed age ratings, and "little evidence" of inappropriate target marketing through the traditional media was found.

The FTC praised the Entertainment Software Rating Board, stating: "The Commission commends the ESRB for its new online ratings summaries, which provide a more detailed explanation of the content that factored into a game's rating. This tool should enhance parental understanding of the ratings and the ratings process."

ESRB announced the launch of an iPhone app that gives parents access to this detailed content advice earlier ths week.

"The computer and videogame industry leads all others in ensuring its products are marketed appropriately and is the gold standard for others to follow," said Michael D Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the US association representing software publishers.

"Today's FTC report is a strong acknowledgement and validation that industry-led self-regulation efforts are the best way to provide parents and retailers with the resources and support they need to keep our kids' entertainment experiences suitable."

The report, carried out on marketing and advertising practices across the entertainment industries, is the FTC's seventh since 2000.

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