FCC chief seeks walled gardens for mobile content
Violence and indecency in media are the core challenges for the mobile advertising industry, according to the head of the Federal Communications Commission.
FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate expressed great concern regarding the level of violence and indecency on television and its spillover as mobile television starts to take off. She spoke earlier this month at the Association of National Advertisers' Fourth Annual Advertising Law and Business Affairs Conference.
"As we enter the age of content delivery over mobile devices, there is a whole new set of questions to address regarding how to provide ratings, how to block objectionable content and whether the FCC has a role to play in this arena," Ms. Taylor Tate said.
"Now that wireless devices are being marketed to children as young as 6, I have encouraged the wireless industry to be part of the solution as well," she said.
Ms. Taylor Tate's address was titled "Convergence of Media and Legal and Business Implications."
Last fall telecoms giant AT&T Inc. launched "Smart Limits for Wireless," which helps parents protect children from inappropriate calls, texts and mobile Internet content by letting them block numbers they deem inappropriate and filter access to content on their child's phone.
"I truly believe there is a new market for 'walled gardens,'" Ms. Taylor Tate said. "Just as parents want safe places for their children to play out in the neighborhood, they want safe places for their children to play in the online world.
"You, as advertisers, have the opportunity to help them find those places and be the named sponsor," she said. "I also encourage you to consider sponsoring and bringing back the family."
Ms. Taylor Tate urged the advertisers in the audience to come together and work hard to ensure that children are viewing positive, wholesome images, and not harmful, unhealthy ones.
The FCC issued a report last year to Congress on the state of violence in the media. That study found that "on balance, research provides strong evidence that exposure to violence in the media can increase aggressive behavior in children, at least in the short term."
"No issue elicits more complaints, or more discussion everywhere I go, than the level of violence on television," Ms. Taylor Tate said. "Almost 70 percent of parents say they are very concerned about sex and violence on television and they support limits on content."
It is now time to start monitoring what is and isn't appropriate for children, she said.
"We are seeing more and more content delivered via mobile devices," Ms. Taylor Tate said.