June Is Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month

  Help parents make informed decisions about the movies and video games they rent and buy for their children by participating in Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month.

Consistent with the home entertainment industry's commitment to effective and voluntary parental empowerment programs, EMA and three other trade associations have again this year designated June as Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month. Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month involves video stores, video game retailers, motion picture theaters, music stores, online music providers, and other entertainment retailers in a national education campaign on movie and video game ratings and music labeling.

 In June, many children begin their summer break, and thus increase their consumption of entertainment - making June especially appropriate for entertainment retailers to raise the profile of ratings and labeling awareness. While EMA members promote ratings awareness throughout the year, the formal designation of June as Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month provides a useful anchor and rallying point for focused initiatives.

For movies, music, and video games, ratings and labeling systems exist to provide parents the tools they need to guide their children's entertainment decisions. For those systems to be effective, parents must be familiar with the ratings and labeling information available to them. Therefore, Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month seeks to provide information about entertainment ratings and labeling so that parents will utilize them.

Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month promotes such understanding and use in the following ways:

  • Highlighting entertainment ratings and labeling information and tools in video stores, theatres, music stores, and other entertainment retail establishments;
  • Generating media coverage encouraging parents to use the ratings and labeling systems; 
  • Ensuring that educational materials are current and easily available to the public;
  • Encouraging member companies to review and revise, if appropriate, their ratings and labeling sales policies; and
  • Encouraging member companies to reinforce understanding and enforcement of those policies among their employees.

In conjunction with Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month, EMA encourages all video and video game retailers to make certain that ratings education programs and ratings policies are current and fully implemented in their stores.

In particular, retailers should:

   1.      Review their ratings education and enforcement policies to ensure that they comply with EMA's standard that R-rated movies and M-rated video games not be sold or rented to persons under age 17 without parental consent;

   2.      Reemphasize their ratings education and enforcement policies to all employees to ensure that the employees understand and are enforcing those policies;

   3.      Provide written information for customers about the movie and video game ratings systems and the store's enforcement policies;

   4.      Ensure that posters explaining the motion picture and video game ratings systems are current and displayed prominently in the store;

   5.      Encourage their customers to utilize the ratings systems and, if appropriate, review the rental authorizations they have established for their children; and

   6.      Make sure they comply with all the other elements of the Movie and Video Games Ratings Education, Enforcement, and Advertising Guidelines.

In addition to EMA, the sponsors of Entertainment Ratings & Labeling Awareness Month are the Digital Media Association (DiMA), National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), and National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO).  


EMA provides a variety of ratings education and voluntary enforcement materials to retailers through its Pledge To Parents program. To obtain Pledge To Parents materials, contact Grace Lee at (818) 385-1500, ext. 244, or

Consumers can learn more about the entertainment ratings and labeling systems, at


ESRB Information 
Information about the ESRB and its video game ratings system is available here, plus a searchable ratings database

MPAA Information 
A wealth of information about the MPAA's movie rating system is available here, plus a searchable database

Pledge To Parents Program 
EMA-developed tool designed to give parents greater control over the films and video games their children rent. 

Copyright 2012, Entertainment Merchants Association
EMA is headquartered at 16530 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 400, Encino, CA 91436-4551 - Phone: 818.385.1500 - Fax: 818.933.0910