FTC report on media violence expected Friday


The Federal Trade Commission Friday is expected to release its third
follow-up report examining whether the entertainment industry is doing a good
job keeping violent music, movies and video games away from kids.

Sources said the report will focus largely on whether retailers are checking
kids' ages before selling adult products to them, such as CDs rated 'M' for
mature or movies rated 'R' for restricted. The music industry may also come
under fire again for continuing to sell CDs with violent lyrics to kids, even
though those discs may be rated appropriately.

In September 2000, the FTC released an initial report saying that movie
studios, record companies and video-game makers were purposely marketing content
with violent themes and images to underage consumers.

Since then, the industries have made an effort to prove to Congress that they
have clamped down on that behavior, adding more descriptive ratings to movies,
for example.

When the FTC has released its follow-up reports, it has directed its
attention more and more on the music industry, saying that record companies are
doing little to change their ways.

Violence has been off network television for some time, with the FTC's only
complaint that movie studios were advertising R-rated movies during shows aimed
at teen-agers, such as Dawson's Creek. But the studios seemed to have
largely ceased that practice.