SOURCE: National Institue on Media and the Family

July 12, 2005 13:31 ET

No Parental Consent Means WOMMA Protects Members' Distribution of Porn

WOMMA Member Bolt Promoting Grand Theft Auto Porn Scenes

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 12, 2005 -- The National Institute on Media and the Family furthered its investigation into the buzz marketing industry today by revealing that leading WOMMA member and buzz marketer, Bolt Media, is promoting porn and sexually explicit material to children on the Internet.

Bolt says on its site that it targets children as young as 13 for its advertiser driven campaigns, and its Game Revolution section is currently hosting a download that allows children to unlock hidden porn in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game.

"We found that Bolt link during our investigation into the pornographic scenes that have been uncovered with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," National Institute Founder and President Dr. David Walsh said. "We couldn't allow these marketing firms to get away with this while groups like WOMMA protect them."

But the Grand Theft Auto download is not the only porn that Bolt is pushing at kids. On the site, the word-of-mouth marketing company surveys its users, some of whom as young as 13, about "porn versus the real thing." The survey asks kids to judge whether porn or real types of sex are better.

"We once again call on WOMMA to adopt a meaningful ethics code when it comes to marketing to our children," Walsh said. "We call on other WOMMA members to demand responsibility in marketing to all children, because otherwise WOMMA will never be a credible organization."

The National Institute on Media and the Family launched its investigation into buzz and word-of-mouth-marketers last fall, and, earlier this year, called on the Word of Mouth Marketing Association to include parental consent or parental notification when members market to children. To date, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has not complied with the Institute's request.

Bolt's corporate Web site claims it is the "#1 youth hangout on the Web, bringing together 4.5 million young people each month..." The site goes on to say "Authenticity is at the core of what we do."

According to the statistics on the site, the key demographic includes users aged 13 to 25 (splits at 18), with an equal division of male and female users.

The National Institute on Media and the Family is the world's leading and most respected research-based organization on the positive and harmful effects of media on children and youth. The National Institute on Media and the Family is an independent, nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and nonprofit organization that is based on research, education, and advocacy. Its MediaWise® movement is being adopted in communities throughout the country to help families make wiser media choices and encourage parents to "Watch What their Kids Watch." For more information, please visit www.mediafamily.org and www.mediawise.org on the Web or call 1-888-672-5437.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    New School Communications
    Blois Olson
    651-276-1678

    Brad Robideau
    651-221-1999