BILL TARGETS MARKETING OF VIOLENT ENTERTAINMENT TO KIDS

WASHINGTON -- A new bill designed to curb the marketing of violent entertainment to children has not been well received by some in the industry. The bill was introduced late last month just two days after a Federal Trade Commission report concluded that industry self-regulation was the best way to help parents control the exposure of their children to violent media.Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and

WASHINGTON -- A new bill designed to curb the marketing of violent entertainment to children has not been well received by some in the industry. The bill was introduced late last month just two days after a Federal Trade Commission report concluded that industry self-regulation was the best way to help parents control the exposure of their children to violent media.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) introduced the Media Marketing Accountability Act with original co-sponsors Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.). The bill would apply the current rules and penalties for businesses that engage in false and deceptive advertising practices to companies that market adult-rated movies, music and video games in venues popular with children.

"I run into problems with what can be defined as marketing to children," said Leith Haines, video manager at Reasor's, Tahlequah, Okla.

Sean Bersell, vice president of government affairs and member communications at the Video Software Dealers Association, Encino, Calif., also took issue with the bill. "It is indeed ironic that, two days after the FTC issued [its report]... Sen. Lieberman chose to ignore that well-crafted recommendation and introduce this ill-considered bill," he said.

Bersell also told SN that the VSDA believes the MMAA is "both unconstitutional and counterproductive."