THE BIG PITCH: How should the entertainment industry defend itself against recent criticism?

Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications, Plymouth, MI

Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications, Plymouth, MI

Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications, Plymouth, MI

The reason they are accused, is that it is true in this case. No amount of 'PR' is going to save them either. Watching Jack Valenti talk about the 'standards of the industry' is plain bull. They have no standards; they say one thing and do another. Go rent the game '007 Goldeneye' and then go ask middle school students about the game. Then check out how many 5th graders have the game. You will be shocked. What they need to do is stop targeting kids with violent material. Then after they have stopped, a press release will do.



Gary Ruskin, Commercial Alert, Washington, DC

The FTC report on 'Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children' is wholly damning, so stop making excuses. Don't hide behind irrelevant claims of artistic freedom when everyone knows that marketing practices are the issue. Calm parental and congressional outrage by voluntarily releasing market research on marketing of violence to children, instead of undergoing the protracted humiliating spectacle of having Congress extract it piecemeal.

Entertainment executives should promise never again to prey on the vulnerable minds of innocent youngsters, and pledge to show to their own children and grandchildren any violent entertainment that they market to other peoples' children.



Sandy Nelson, Dittus Communications, Washington, DC

They must take action swiftly to stem the rising flood of criticism following the recently released FTC report. First, initiate an education campaign targeted at policy makers, regulators and consumers talking about the changing face of the industry and the steps it has taken to move with the times. Second, they should create an industry-wide coalition (including theaters, video and music stores) to promote enforcement of measures already in place to protect children. They should involve the community through instituting and promoting incentives for calling a hotline to report businesses selling inappropriate tickets or products to consumers under the age of 18.



Lizzie Grubman, Lizzie Grubman PR, New York

Education and outreach is the key. Rather than try to limit the expression and availability of their artists and albums, labels should take a more community-based approach so that children, when they come into contact with questionable content, can put it into perspective and learn the difference between fantasy and reality. For example, Loud Records, one of my clients, sponsors and promotes Camp Excel, a camp that targets at-risk youth. Camp Excel not only helps them learn life skills, but teaches them that violence is never an answer, and graphic content in the music should not necessarily be seen as real life



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