Industry Unveiling $300M Campaign July 27


The TV industry, cable and broadcast, plan to take the wraps off a new $300 million content-control consumer awareness campaign next week.

July 27 is now the date when former Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti will brief the Senate Commerce Committee on the campaign, which will launch soon after. A Committee spokesman confirmed the 10 a.m. briefing.

Valenti told B&C that the original briefing date, which was to have been July 26, had to be moved after a joint session of Congress was scheduled for an address from the new Iraqi prime minister.

Valenti pledged to Committee co-chairmen Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) last fall that they would get a preview of the campaign before its launch, which he told B&C earlier this month would be sometime in July.

Last month, Stevens said he was confident of the success of industry self-regulatory efforts on indecency, or "decency" as he prefers to call it, though he added that he would have to "wait and see."

The campaign will include TV and other ads, print materials, and a Website that Valenti says will be user-friendly.

The goal is to let parents know what technologies are already available to help control their family's TV viewing, including cable set-top controls and the broadcast V-chip/rating system. The other goal is to convince Washington that parental control, not government regulation, is the way to address content criticisms.

Broadcasters are battling an FCC indecency crackdown, while the cable industry is hoping to head off calls for mandatory à la carte cable service as a way to let subscribers control content.

Both are counting on Valenti's stature with the committee and his experience at creating a ratings system for movies that helped stave off content regulation of that industry.