At the White House unveiling of a revised TV program content ratings plan today, the possibility of the new ratings changing what advertisers do quickly entered the discussion. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) told reporters if "free market pressures are brought to bear on advertisers, then it's just Adam Smith smiling from his grave." The agreement among most major broadcast and cable networks and consumer groups will change the current age-based ratings for TV on Oct. 1 to a system that also indicates whether a program contains violence, profane language or sexually themed content. NBC refused to go along, saying the system represents government-imposed content controls.
Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.