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NOTE: This web site is where you can find advertising law information based on news briefs that appeared in past issues of Advertising Compliance Service - the Advertising Law Newsletter Reference Service for Attorneys, during the month of August 1999. Our two News Briefs are entitled, "Advertising Movies, Recordings and Video or Computer Games" and "FTC Reaches Agreements with Model Agencies".


Advertising Movies, Recordings and Video or Computer Games

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, FTC must request public comment of its "study" of the "marketing practices" of the entertainment industry. The agency is looking to expand its jurisdiction into the First Amendment-protected areas of motion pictures, recordings, and video, personal computer, and coin-operated game industries. FTC is conducting the "study" in response to excessive media accounts of certain violent incidents. The apparent theory is that such First Amendment-protected depictions of violence has, in some way, led to such violence. However, the levels of violence have decreased dramatically over the past 10 years, as shown in FBI crime statistics and many state surveys. But President Bill Clinton asked for the study back on June 1, 1999.

FTC's Federal Register notice also seeks comment on a proposal to conduct "focus groups," on this area.

First Amendment-Protected Industries

One of the major areas FTC will focus on is these First Amendment-protected industries and their industry members market or advertise movies, recordings, and video or computer games with allegedly violent content.

If you'd like to comment on this FTC activity, send your written comments to:

Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. E-mail your comments to . Your submissions should include your name, address, telephone number, and, if available, FAX number and e-mail address. All submissions should be captioned "Entertainment Industry Study" - FTC File No. P994511. (No deadline date was provided.)

(FTC File No. 859907, August 24, 1999.)

FTC Reaches Agreements with Model Agencies

Under the terms of a settlement, several modeling agencies are banned from advertising, marketing, promoting or offering screen tests, casting calls or auditions, when these activities are being offered in connection with the sale of any product or service. Four of the six defendants charged by FTC with using deceptive tactics to lure consumers into making substantial Modeling Agencies investments for modeling and acting training by promising glamorous jobs in the movies and on the runway have agreed to write off approximately $3 million in payments owed by consumers. Also, the settlement bans the defendants from using so-called "screen tests" to sell any product or service, and requires them to pay between $60,000 to $80,000 in monetary judgments. As of the date the settlement was entered, the defendants had ceased marketing their training classes. The settlement requires the defendants to post a $500,000 bond before they ever sell modeling or acting classes again.

NOTE: This final consent order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent orders have the force of law when signed by the judge.

(Model 1, Inc., et al., FTC Matter No. X990059, Civil Action No. 99-737-A, August 31, 1999.)


Materials relating to these matters are available on the Internet at the Federal Trade Commission's website.



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