V-Chip Campaign Kicks Off

Jul 25, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The media industry and the Ad Council on Tuesday formally launched their $300 million public service campaign aimed at promoting the value of the v-chip in the latest industry effort to offset pressure for greater controls on content and temper congressional complaints.

Legislators, among them Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., have repeatedly criticized media companies, saying that while the v-chip, which allows parents to block programming rated high in sexual or violent content, has been included in TV sets for several years, parents either have no idea it’s there or don’t know how to use it.

Plans for the campaign and broad support from the industry were announced last year by Jack Valenti, former president and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, amid concerns that Congress might expand current indecency regulations on broadcast TV to cable TV.

The campaign is supported by MPAA, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Consumer Electronics Association and all the major broadcast and satellite providers.

Spots in the new public service campaign prepared by McCann-Erickson feature a parent telling TV characters — mob figures in one spot, a drug user in another — that “I am going to have to block you.”

The spots end with the theme “Be the boss of what your kids watch” and refer parents to Web site TheTVBoss.org.

Mr. Valenti is scheduled to present a briefing on the new campaign to the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday.