In its fourth annual report on marketing violent entertainment to children the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has noted important successes within the games industry’s advertisement standards, called AdCode. Designed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the FTC found “substantial, but not universal, compliance” with advertising regulations.
The FTC also performed an undercover survey of teens shopping for games and found that 69% of unaccompanied shoppers under 17 were able to buy mature rated games at retail. This represents a small improvement from 78% in 2001 and 85% in 2000.
Although concern was shown at promoting teen rated games to an underage audience the report generally praises the prominent placement of ESRB rating labels in advertising and game packaging. However, the FTC did suggest that content descriptions in television adverts would be desirable for the future.