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5th Annual Industry "Report Card" Praises Ratings; Criticizes Retailers

January 26, 2001 | By Alex Dunne

January 26, 2001 | By Alex Dunne
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The NIMF, an "independent, non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-profit organization", based its conclusions on interviews with children and industry representatives; by conducting panels with parents; by sending children into stores to test retailers' ratings enforcement, and a number of other research methods.

"We are very pleased to report that there has been significant progress on each of these recommendations," said David Walsh, President of the NIMF. "Although this year's report card contains criticisms, we think it is important to acknowledge the industry's responsiveness to our calls for reform. In fact, we believe that the video and computer game industry's responses to public concerns have been more responsible than the other major media industries'."

The report points to positive efforts by the Advertising Review Council (ARC) and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The lowest score on the report card, however -- a "D+" -- was given in the area of "Retail Ratings Enforcement".
"We and others have repeated 'sting operations' since the retailers’ announcements about ratings enforcement," the report states. "Unfortunately, the results have been disappointing. The only major chains we have found enforcing the policy are Target and FuncoLand."

The NIMF report card is as follows:

Industry response to recommendations: A-
Implementation of recommendations: Incomplete Accuracy of ratings: B-
Ratings Education: C
Ratings Enforcement: D+
Arcade Industry Ratings and Enforcement: C
Marketing and Advertising: C
Overall Grade: C

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