Warner Bros. creates, markets, and distributes content that entertains and inspires people of all ages, from all walks of life, all around the world. We understand that it is through our products that we have the greatest impact on society, and we are guided by the values of freedom of expression, responsible content, access to information, and diverse voices.
As an entertainment company within the media sector, we stand for freedom of expression. We nurture the creative freedom of talent, and we provide them with the platforms they need to share, develop and nurture their ideas.
Choice & Diversity
We encourage our people to bring a multitude of different perspectives to the work they produce. Determining the social responsibility of media, especially entertainment, can be difficult. What constitutes an entertaining night at the movies for one person may be provocative and unsettling for another. To us, delivering high quality and diverse content does not mean limiting the creativity of our producers – in fact, it means just the opposite. We encourage our people to bring a multitude of different perspectives to the work they produce by spotlighting important issues, promoting debate, and sometimes simply providing audiences with some respite from daily life.
Access to Ratings
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.
To pursue international growth, Warner Bros. seeks to form strong local relationships in countries around the world. In launching new ventures or partnering with existing businesses in other cultures, we start by respecting the talent, experience, and track record of our local partners, suppliers and creative collaborators. We also look at a range of corporate responsibility-related business issues including the regulatory environment, cultural considerations, and labor issues.
Since launching our local-language film production initiative in 1999, the studio has released more than 340 such films produced primarily in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil, with limited activity in the U.K. and India . We’re also gearing up to be more active in China. While many of our local-language films may never be seen beyond their national borders, we believe they represent not only important opportunities for our business but also an important contribution to cultural diversity, local economies, and entertainment in other countries.
In 2009, Warner Bros. International Television Distribution formed its own international production unit, Warner Bros. International Television Production. Its goal is to establish operating production companies in major territories around the world, with the mandate to create locally produced versions of programs owned by the Studio and to develop original local programming on a market by market basis.
We look for opportunities to license our characters to promote products or behaviors that benefit society.
With more than 3,700 active licensees worldwide, Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) licenses the rights to names, likenesses and logos for all of the intellectual properties in Warner Bros. Entertainment’s vast film and television library. These include such world-renowned icons as the Looney Tunes, Harry Potter, Scooby-Doo, DC Comics’ Batman and Superman, as well as Hanna-Barbera properties, including The Flintstones, The Jetsons and Tom & Jerry, and classic film properties such as Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products looks for opportunities to license or donate its characters to promote products, behaviors, or initiatives that benefit society and youth in particular.
FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA’S “LET’S MOVE” INITIATIVE
Warner Bros. Consumer Products signed the Looney Tunes to participate in First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. A collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Ad Council and WBCP, the program is a series of public service announcements (PSAs) designed to address childhood obesity and encourage children and families to lead active and healthy lifestyles. The PSAs feature Warner Bros.’ legendary Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Taz.
LOONEY TUNES ACTIVE!
Looney Tunes Active! is a global initiative which features the iconic characters as ambassadors of an active lifestyle for children The naturally energetic nature of the Looney Tunes, one of their defining characteristics, makes them the ideal ambassadors of a more active lifestyle for kids everywhere. Launched in 2006, Looney Tunes Active! has quickly evolved into one of the world’s most dynamic licensing programs, with WBCP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) helping to lead the charge.
WBCP and Looney Tunes, including Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester, and Taz, continue to promote an active lifestyle with extended and ongoing partnerships with three major league basketball teams through the Looney Tunes Active!global initiative for kids across Europe. Featuring the iconic characters as fitness ambassadors for children, the major league basketball teams, including France’s French Basketball Federation, Germany’s Beko BBL Basketball League, and Italy’s Federazione Italiana Pallacenestro, are in the game and continue to encourage kids to maintain an active lifestyle while having fun, and promote the Looney Tunes Active initiative with mini-basketball tournaments in schools and at local events, as well as costume character appearances at games and team-sponsored events.
PROMOTING HEALTHY EATING
As Warner Bros. Consumer Products continues its ongoing effort to promote healthy and active lifestyles for kids across Europe,Tom and Jerry have also partnered with well-known German chef Stefan Marquard to teach kids how to cook and eat healthy. The collaboration has cooked up various efforts, including a six-city tour throughout Germany, and events such as the Rewe Family: Das Sommerfest.
CESAR MILLAN FOUNDATION
Warner Bros. Consumer Products partnered with Cesar Millan and the Millan Foundation to host the first annual “National Family Pack Walk” sponsored by Scooby-Doo in Los Angeles on October 30, 2011. All proceeds benefitted the Millan’s Foundation continued efforts to help rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused and abandoned dogs. In addition, the event highlighted the work of the Mutt-i-Grees educational program – innovative in-school curriculum that builds on children’s affinity for animals and highlights the unique characteristics of shelter dogs. With thousands in attendance, the event secured media coverage spanning the globe and over $170,000 was donated to the Foundation.
Tobacco in Films
Warner Bros. understands that entertainment programming has an impact on habits and culture. Without curtailing artistic freedom, we are sensitive to the impact of the films and television programs we produce. Warner Bros. actively works to reduce tobacco imagery in its films.
We adopted the Time Warner Tobacco Depiction Policy in 2005. In 2011, we reached a 90% reduction in depictions of smoking and tobacco brands and products compared to the 2005 baseline, which Warner Bros. tracks and verifies against SceneSmoking.org database. In addition, since 2008, Warner Bros. has included anti-smoking PSAs on all DVDs of films containing tobacco imagery. Since Warner Bros. began this practice, an estimated 60 million viewers have seen these PSAs prior to viewing the film.
Time Warner Tobacco Depiction Policy
Time Warner has a fundamental interest in creating films that appeal to a wide array of audiences. When we develop films, we work with our creative talent to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that smoking is not depicted in our films unless there is a compelling creative reason to do so. Our practices currently include the following:
- Time Warner film and TV companies do not enter into any product placement or promotion deals with tobacco companies for any of our films.
- Time Warner film and TV companies endeavor to reduce or eliminate depictions of smoking and tobacco products/brands from all English-language motion pictures they produce and/or distribute in the United States rated G, PG, and PG-13 through vigilant communications with the creative team on films in which such depictions are contemplated unless (a) the depiction involves a character who is an actual historical figure known to have used tobacco products; (b) the depiction is warranted for reasons of compelling historical accuracy; or (c) the depiction is part of a conspicuous anti-smoking reference.
- Time Warner film and TV companies endeavor to reduce smoking and tobacco depictions in all R-rated motion pictures they produce and/or distribute in the United States unless there are compelling creative reasons for such depictions.
- For movies produced outside the United States or where Time Warner’s business units’ influence over the content of films is limited (such as movies co-produced by Time Warner businesses and movies produced by others that are distributed by Time Warner businesses), Time Warner discourages the depiction of smoking where the company believes it is appropriate to do so.
Time Warner companies, including Warner Bros., license images, brands and characters to licensees who then use the images on toys, electronics, costumes and other products. In 2006, Time Warner publicly committed to developing an ethical sourcing program to responsibly manage its relationships with these licensees. As articulated in the 2008 Time Warner Corporate Social Responsibility Report, the goal was to develop a set of ethical sourcing guidelines and to begin implementing business process adjustments as needed.
The Time Warner Ethical Sourcing Guidelines reflect the commitment of Time Warner Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies to conduct business according to standards of integrity and ethics. It is important that all of our vendors conduct business in compliance with local laws and regulations and industry standards. For the purposes of these Guidelines, “vendor” is synonymous with terms that may include but are not limited to supplier, factory, licensee, site, facility, contractor and sub-contractor. Major Time Warner subsidiaries include Home Box Office, Inc., Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. is a key partner in the HIV-Free Generation initiative, a public-private partnership that combines the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR’s) expertise with that of the private sector. As part this partnership, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment produced an action–based video game pilot, “Pamoja Mtaani” (Swahili for “Together in the Hood”), for implementation in three youth centers in Nairobi, Kenya. The game uses a contemporary East African context and interactive play to personalize HIV-prevention messages for youth. In addition to the video game, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group launched several major media initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the program, including a PEPFAR documentary film trailer and marketing materials, along with a website about the initiative at HIVFreeGeneration.org.
In 2009, Warner Bros. was awarded the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GBC) Award for Business Excellence for its work on the project.