Just as we support freedom of expression, we support – and, indeed, our businesses are built on – access to information. At the same time that Warner Bros. is committed to making our content accessible to a wider audience, we also want to provide audiences with the tools they need to make informed viewing decisions. We seek to ensure that our films, television programs, games, and other content offerings are accessed by their intended audiences.
Reaching Intended Audiences
Many of our films, television programs, and games can be enjoyed by people of all ages. In some cases, however, our content is suitable primarily for adults. To help ensure that our content reaches appropriate audiences, we voluntarily participate in a number of industry-wide rating systems. Ratings enable consumers and parents to make informed decisions.
The best-known rating system includes the G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 ratings developed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). This system is used by all of our film production businesses. Warner Bros. takes an additional step and uses its own internal guidelines to further inform how its mature-themed films are advertised.
For example, in the United States, Warner Bros. Pictures does not market R-rated films in print or on television when 35% of the expected target audience is under the age of 17. Furthermore, the studio does not engage in toy-driven promotions for any R-rated films and does not attach trailers for R-rated films to G- or PG-rated films in the U.S.
The TV ratings system divides shows into eight different categories based on viewer maturity. U.S. television networks use these TV ratings as guidance to help determine appropriate scheduling times for programming and to determine whether parental advisories should be included before programs begin airing.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment submits its videogames for rating by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). This rating system, developed by the entertainment software industry, uses symbols to indicate appropriate age ranges for players and provides standardized content descriptors for game elements, such as violence, that may cause concern for players or parents.