Those in the television, cable, and satellite industries recently launched the “Be the Boss of What Your Kids Watch” campaign. This campaign, which is headed up by our good friend Jack Valenti, educates parents about how to protect their children from inappropriate television programming.
When Senator Inouye and I first became Co-chairmen of the Senate Commerce Committee, several groups and individuals approached us; they were concerned about decency in media content. In November 2005, our Committee began the process of bringing each of these groups together. We convened an Open Forum on Decency and held hearings. In all, more than 30 groups and individuals shared their concerns and insights with us.
The “Be the Boss” campaign is one of the noteworthy initiatives which has developed from these efforts. Surveys show that only three percent of Americans know how to use the V-chip, a feature in every television set which enables parents to block programs based on ratings. This $300 million ad campaign seeks to teach parents how to use this – and other – blocking technologies and will help them better monitor television programs.
In July, Jack Valenti and Peggy Conlon, the president of the Ad Council, kicked off this “Be the Boss” campaign when they showed our Committee their first two public service announcements. Thanks to these announcements, and the campaign web site, www.thetvboss.org, parents now have information about the V-chip, cable and satellite controls, and television ratings.