Ratings Guidelines

As the trade association for the home entertainment industry, EMA shares with parents the concern about the impact on children of depictions of violence in entertainment. EMA recognizes that the home entertainment industry has a critical role to play in educating parents about movie and video game ratings and ensuring that children do not gain access to movies and video games their parents deem inappropriate for them. We believe the best control is parental control, and there is no better place than in a entertainment retail establishment for parents to control the content of movies and video games to which their children have access.

EMA has established the following voluntary guidelines on movie and video game ratings education, enforcement, and advertising for its members. These guidelines are designed to encourage EMA members to adopt the "best practices" in empowering parents to control their children's access to movies and video games.

EMA Members should:

1.    Post MPAA and/or ESRB ratings information where customers can view them.

2.    Train employees in the ratings systems.

3.    Not rent or sell videos rated R or video games rated M to persons under age 17, absent parental consent.

4.    Not rent or sell videos rated NC-17, video games rated Adults Only, or videos or videogames that a reasonable person would consider to be legally "obscene for minors" to persons under age 18.

5.    Include the rating icon, rating explanation, and the reason for the rating prominently on any Web page that offers a movie or video game for rental or sale. 

6.    Include links to 
 www.parentalguide.org from Web sites where movies and/or video games can be rented or purchased.

7.   Clearly and conspicuously display the ratings in all advertising for movies and video games, and to the extent feasible, the reason for the rating.

8.    Not specifically target advertising for R-rated movies and M-rated video games to persons under age 17.

9.    Not place advertising for R-rated movies and M-rated video games in media or venues with a substantial under-17 audience.

10.  Designate an employee as the "ratings compliance officer" for the company and empower the designated individual to ensure adherence to the companyâ's policies regarding motion picture and video game ratings education, enforcement, and advertising.  (Click here for a job description of the "ratings compliance officer".)

To assist video retailers in complying with these guidelines and helping parents make informed entertainment choices for their families, EMA has developed a model in-store ratings education and voluntary enforcement program, 
 
 Pledge To Parents.

To learn more about EMA's parental empowerment programs, 
 email us.

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