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BBFC clarifies 12A rating


- Jack Reacher prompted 26 complaints about children being exposed to violence

BBFC clarifies 12A rating

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has clarified the ongoing confusion about the 12A rating for films. The rating is clearly explained as follows: “Films classified 12A and video works classified 12 contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. No one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. Adults planning to take a child under 12 to view a 12A film should consider whether the film is suitable for that child.” However, the BBFC found that 75% of the British public understand that a film rated 12A is generally suitable for children aged 12 and over, but a younger child may see the film if accompanied by an adult.

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To clarify this, the BBFC has released a new advert to help increase awareness of what the 12A cinema rating means, which will be played in cinemas from 1 August. The BBFC saw a rise in the number of 12A films released during 2013, with 87 more films classified 12A in 2013 compared to 2012. Of these, Tom Cruise starrer Jack Reacher attracted 26 complaints from members of the public about children being exposed to violence despite the 12A rating, even after the producers had made a number of cuts to achieve the rating.

BBFC director David Cooke said, “We want to remind parents that the certificate was designed to help them decide if a film at the 12 level is suitable for their child. Children develop at different rates, and while one child may understand the issues in a particular 12A film, another child may find the film distressing. Parents can use the detailed BBFCinsight we provide for every film we classify to see if a 12A film is suitable for their child.”

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