Updated consumer advice to better classify film content

Updated advice from the Classification Board will ensure Australians are better informed about what they watch.

The Classification Board has updated consumer advice for films to ensure Australians continue to be protected from exposure to harmful content, following research by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

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

The department 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 reflects community standards and expectations, with 84% of people agreeing consumer advice should be given about content that could be distressing to some people.From this review, the Board has agreed to provide additional consumer advice for certain content in a film, even when this content is not the most impactful content within the film. This includes bullying, suicide and self-harm, as well as disturbing content related to horror, or blood and gore.

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.