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Advertising Laws Regarding Violent and Aggressive Content

  • By: Galit Marmor-Lavie
  • In: Encyclopedia of Media Violence
  • Edited by: Matthew S. Eastin
  • Subject:Mass Communication, Aggression & Violence, Violence & Society

Concerns about violent and aggressive content in the media appeared as early as the late 1920s, following the Payne Fund studies, which focused on movies and their effects on children. Legislators and government officials were alarmed when research findings pointed to the linkage between media violence and aggressive behavior, especially when vulnerable populations such as children are involved. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are the two government agencies in charge of advertising regulation. Nevertheless, monitoring of violent advertising is mostly conducted by the FTC.

Because advertising is protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, governmental regulations and laws concerning advertising content are scant. Accordingly, the function of self-regulation in the advertising industry is pertinent, especially when addressing violent ...

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