BBFC to give age ratings to music videos

The BBFC is joining forces with the BPI and Google to trial a ratings system

The British Board of Film Classification has said it plans to bring age ratings to music videos which stream online.

The organisation is working with the British Phonographic Industry as well as Google on a pilot project to see how ratings would work on videos which are posted on the internet. BBFC’s assistant director David Austin commented via The Guardian: “Google has said that if we start to age-rate videos, they will carry the BBFC age rating. They’ve also said they will look at the possibility of parental controls in relation to age rating.”

Austin added that the BBFC were taking the move as a response to concerns from parents about the sexual imagery in modern music videos. “The classification of a music video will take account of any elements which are of concern to parents, including glamorisation of behaviour which they consider inappropriate,” he said.


In October of last year Annie Lennox renewed her call for age ratings on music videos. The singer described the sexualised imagery of modern pop videos as “dark” and “pornographic” and called for more to be done to protect children watching them. “I’m all for freedom of expression,” she told BBC Radio 5 live, “but this is clearly one step beyond, and it’s clearly into the realm of porn… How do you stop your kids being exposed to it? It’s so powerful. You don’t want to see your seven-year-old girls twerking all over the place.”

She added: “I have nothing against these artists, I was never bashing them…There’s nothing wrong with sexuality and sensuality and I think these artists are beautiful. And, in many ways, what they do is fantastic, but it needs to be age-appropriate.”