Music videos to get film-style age ratings

A new pilot has been launched in the UK to protect children from watching inappropriate music videos

Daisy Wyatt
Wednesday 01 October 2014 12:10
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Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'

Music videos are to get film-style age ratings in a new pilot to protect children from unsuitable content.

Record labels Sony, Universal and Warner have signed up to the voluntary scheme, which will begin on Friday.

The companies will submit music videos that may potentially cause concern to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which will issue the promo with a 12, 15 or 18 certificate as well as content advice for viewers.

The pilot, which also has backing from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), comes in the wake of growing concerns about the sexualised content of music videos in the past year.

Rihanna, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj have all been criticised for their “pornographic” videos, which are available for children to watch on YouTube or Vevo with no restrictions or parental guidance.

Rihanna's 'Pour it Up' video was widely criticised last year

Prime Minister David Cameron announced in August that an age-ratings pilot to protect children from unsuitable content was in the pipeline.

But the classifications will only be limited to British artists and will not apply to some of the most explicit videos from US performers.

Twenty per cent of music videos released within the three month pilot period are estimated to be eligible for an age-appropriate certificate.

David Austin, assistant director of the BBFC, said: “Parents are eager to have more input over the types of content their children access, particularly online. By applying understood and trusted BBFC age ratings to online music videos this pilot is a vital step in meeting this demand for choice and child protection.”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI, said: “We want to give parents the information they need to make more informed decisions about the music videos they are happy for their children to see.”

With additional reporting from the Press Association.

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