Classification Board updates consumer advice to help Australians stay informed

The Classification Board has updated consumer advice to ensure Australians are better informed about whether a film contains potentially triggering content such as bullying, suicide and self-harm, as well as disturbing content related to horror, or blood and gore.

The updates come after the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts in 2022 surveyed 2,000 Australians on their values, understanding and use of classification information.

Many participants expressed a desire for modern and up-to-date classification information that reflected community standards and expectations, with 84% of people agreeing consumer advice should be given about content that could be distressing to some people.

Consumer advice accompanies a film’s rating and provides detail on the most impactful content that is present.

Informed by this survey, the Board agreed to provide additional consumer advice for certain content, even when this content is not the most impactful content within the film.

For example, if a film has violence at the MA 15+ impact level but also contains blood and gore at the M impact level, the classification for the film would be MA 15+ and the consumer advice for the film will refer to both violence, and blood and gore. 

These changes will improve the ability of Australians to make informed decisions about what they, and those in their care, watch.

Further information about the research conducted by the department can be found at: Research and publications | Australian Classification

For more information on consumer advice visit How a rating is decided | Australian Classification

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“The survey showed us that Australians value the classification scheme, but want more information about what they watch.

“This updated advice will ensure there are no surprises and help adults make informed decisions about the content that they, and those in their care, consume.”

Quotes attributable to Director of the Classification Board, Fiona Jolly:

“The updated consumer advice is being applied by the Board when making decisions to better reflect contemporary community standards.

“It provides helpful information enabling Australians to make informed choices, particularly in relation to content which may be of concern to them.”