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RIAA Forms Compliance Task Force

RIAA and NARM will seek to institute revised voluntary restrictions in response to FTC criticism that the industry markets inappropriate materials to kids

The Recording Industry Association of America has announced plans to form a task force to investigate ways to answer criticisms levied in the Federal Trade Commission’s May 1 report that accused the music industry of marketing to children products it labeled as explicit. The task force, which will also have representatives from the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) will seek to institute revised voluntary restrictions for marketing “stickered” materials in media outlets that are targeted to different age groups, such as 7 year olds, 12 year olds, and 16 year olds.

The FTC’s 70-page report praised the compliance of both the movie and video game industries for actions taken to stop marketing inappropriate materials to kids, and chided the recording industry for not taking enough action. That report directly followed a meeting that Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) convened with entertainment industry leaders in Los Angeles. Not coincidentally, the meeting fell on the two-year anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

The task force will initially target print and Internet-based marketing, and then begin to look at television advertising. According to the FTC, television advertisements for recordings with the Parental Advisory sticker are regularly aired on MTV during the after-school time slot.

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