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IEMA, VSDA appoint federal lobbyist

US industry trade bodies the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and the Video Software Dealers Association have contracted lobbyist Stuart Spencer to jointly represent them before Congress and federal agencies.

US industry trade bodies the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association and the Video Software Dealers Association have contracted lobbyist Stuart Spencer to jointly represent them before Congress and federal agencies.

A founding member of the Stanton Park Group, where he also served as principle and general counsel, Spencer has represented a wide number of technology and health care clients. During his seven years working for NY Representative Louise Slaughter, the Princeton University graduate rose to the position of chief of staff.

"We are very pleased to have an individual of Stuart's calibre representing us in Washington," commented IEMA President Hal Halpin. "He brings an impressive breadth of experience, knowledge of the Hill, and understanding of the legislative process to the position."

With member companies accounting for seventy-five per cent of the US interactive entertainment business, the IEMA, established in 1997, has been aggressively supporting and protecting the retail industry and has been exceptionally vocal in its opposition of the various 'violent videogames' bills proposed of late.

Established in 1981, the Video Software Dealers Association represents more than a thousand companies in the US, Canada and other nations. Its members, from single stores to large retail chains, operate more than 12,500 stores in the US that sell or rent DVDs, VHS cassettes and console video games.

The organisation has been instrumental in opposing and gaining injunctions against the implementation of legislation to prevent the sale of violent videogames to minors. Working closely with the Entertainment Software Association and associated trade bodies, the VSDA continues to oppose similar legislative proposals in various US states.

VSDA President Bo Andersen commented: "In retaining Stuart, VSDA is recognising a strategic goal of having a full-time Washington, D.C. presence before Congress and the executive branch.

"With the variety and gravity of federal legislative and regulatory issues our industry faces, including piracy, scrutiny of entertainment marketing, and calls for censorship of entertainment products, our members cannot afford for VSDA not to be fully engaged virtually every day in Washington," he concluded.

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