Ipsos-RSL


PG-12

National Survey

Research Findings



April / May 2002









Prepared for





Table of Contents


  1. Introduction 2

    1. Research Background 2
    2. Research Objectives 3
    3. Research Methodology: PG-12 National Survey 3

  1. Summary 5

3.0 General Findings 7
3.1 Cinema Going Habits 7
3.2 Advisory 12 Rating 8
3.2.1 Profile of Initial Acceptors 8
3.2.2 Profile of Rejecters 12
3.3 Conditions Surrounding the Advisory 12 Rating 14
3.4 Adult Accompaniment 15
3.5 Consumer Advice Issues 15

1.0 Introduction


This report, prepared by Ipsos-RSL on behalf of the BBFC, documents the findings of the national survey for the PG-12 research programme, looking at the attitudes and opinions of adults aged 16+ towards the introduction of an advisory 12 rating.


The national survey follows a pilot programme of research into the PG-12 rating in the area of Norwich, run during October 2001 to January 2002. The pilot stage of research involved qualitative discussions with parents of children aged 8-11, quantitative in-street research prior to running PG-12 rated films in the area, and cinema exit interviews during the PG-12 films. The pilot concluded with a series of in-depth interviews with cinema staff.


The results of the national survey aim to build upon the research findings of the pilot stage, and gauge response to the advisory 12 rating from a national representative sample of the UK and Northern Ireland population.



    1. Research Background


Following the pilot study in Norwich, there arose the need to question a national sample of the UK and Northern Ireland population on their attitudes and opinions towards the advisory 12 rating, and answer the crucial question of whether there is consumer acceptance of the idea that children below the age of 12 years should be able to see films classified as suitable for children of 12 years and older. Although a comprehensive pilot research programme had already been conducted, a national survey would allow the overall attitudes and opinions of a wide variety of adults from different areas and socio economic backgrounds, parents and non-parents, cinema goers and non cinema goers alike, to be assessed.

Results from the national survey can be compared and contrasted with the results of the pilot programme, and potential rejecters of the advisory 12 rating can be identified. Differences in attitudes and opinions according to key respondent demographics also allow areas for further pilots to be explored.



    1. Research Objectives


The main objectives of the national survey stage were as follows:




    1. Research Methodology PG-12 National Survey


The national survey employed ‘QUEST’, Ipsos-RSL’s nationally representative panel of 4000 adults aged 16+, contacted weekly across the UK and Northern Ireland (www.ipsos-uk.com/ipsos_media/broadcast_research.htm). The survey uses postal self-completion methodology – panel members are sent questionnaires about media related topics that they complete and send back to Ipsos-RSL where their data is processed.


A vast amount of demographic information is available about respondents, allowing their responses to the BBFC questionnaire to be analysed by key respondent variables such as age, social grade, parental status, and ethnic origin.


A dedicated client service team manages the QUEST panel, and data resulting from the panel is of gold standard quality.




  1. Summary











    1. Cinema Going Habits


17% of the population attend the cinema on average about once every two to three months, with the majority of this group being in the younger age groups, and of social grade ABC1. 29% claim ‘never’ to attend the cinema, with respondents in this group most likely to fall into the older age groups, and social grade C2DE.


Of those respondents who ever attend the cinema, 31% ever attend with a child aged 8 to 11 years. 8% of respondents go to the cinema with at least one child aged between the ages of 8 and 11 years on average about once every six months, and are also most likely to be a parent of at least one child in that age range. 7% claim to attend on average about once every two to three months with a child aged 8-11, and 6% claim to attend about once a year.


69% of respondents claim ‘never’ to attend the cinema with at least one child aged between 8 and 11 years. Males are more likely to never attend with this age group than females.


Individuals are most likely to attend the cinema with a partner (60%). 37% are likely to attend with friends, and 8% say they usually attend the cinema alone. Of those adults who usually attend the cinema with children (0-15 years), respondents are most likely to usually attend the cinema with a child at the younger end of this range - the ages of 0-7 years. Females are more likely to usually attend the cinema with children than males.


Thinking about the average time taken to travel to the cinema respondents usually attend, 40% take up to a quarter of an hour, and 40% take over one quarter of an hour but no longer than half an hour, to reach that cinema.


The most popular type of cinema for individuals to attend is a multiplex cinema in a town or city centre (46%). 37% usually attend a multiplex in an out of town or city location, with 17% usually attending a smaller, independent cinema.



    1. Advisory 12 Rating


      1. Initial Reactions – Profile of Initial Acceptors


When first introduced to the concept of the advisory 12 rating, without explaining the conditions under what the new rating might operate, 37% of the population think that the rating should be made a guideline. 43% disagree outright with the advisory 12 rating, whilst 20% remain unsure.


31% of the overall sample live in households with children. Of these individuals, 50% accept the rating when first introduced to it. 38% say an initial ‘no’ and 11% remain unsure.


Age, Social Grade, and Cinema Attendance


Of those respondents who agree to the advisory 12 rating straight away, individuals tend to be in the younger age groups and of social grades C1 and C2 (39% of C1s and 39% of C2s agree with the advisory concept, compared to 37% overall, however this is not of statistical significance). This group also tend to attend the cinema at a ‘low’ frequency (47%, which are those who usually attend the cinema about once every six months, about once a year, or less often.)


Lifestage (please refer to appendix)


Those in the family lifestage are also more likely than the population overall to say an initial yes to the advisory 12 rating (49% of those in the up to 3 adults and 51% of those in the 4+ adults family lifestages, compared to 37% overall). Those in the post family lifestages are more likely than the population overall to disagree with the concept initially (48% of those in the up to three adults and 45% of those in the 4+ adults post family stages, compared to 43% overall). 49% of those classified in the ‘inactive’ lifestage, with 2+ adults in the household, are also slightly more likely to disagree with the advisory 12 rating.


Looking at the opinions of the population according to their various lifestages we see a pattern emerging, as might be expected of those in the different groups. Family lifestage groups are perhaps more likely to agree with the advisory rating for reasons of more accessible family viewing, whereas those in the pre-family stage, who are more likely to be unsure about the advisory 12 rating (26% compared to 20% overall,) may need the experience of being a parent before they form an opinion one way or another about whether or not a child under 12 should be allowed to see a 12 rating film at the cinema, with parental consent.


Region


Looking at differences in opinions according to region, there are again very small changes in the balance of opinions, with the greatest of those differences shown in the table below:


Initial reactions to the advisory 12 rating - responses at Q6


(See appendix for definitions of regions)


Region

Yes

No

Don’t Know

ALL

37%

43%

20%

West

34%

49%

18%

South-west

32%

45%

23%

North-east

40%

37%

23%

North-west

35%

48%

17%

Scotland

40%

35%

25%

Wales

37%

37%

26%

Ulster

34%

39%

27%


Respondents in the West and the North-West are areas more likely to say an initial ‘no’ to the advisory 12 rating. Ulster, Wales, and Scotland have a higher than average percent of those who are not sure about whether the advisory 12 rating should be introduced.



Cinema –Goers


Removing those respondents who ‘never’ attend the cinema from our overall sample, we can look at the response from the cinema-going population. There is a greater ‘yes’ response to the initial question about the advisory 12 rating, with 40% agreeing that the 12 rating should be made advisory (compared to 37% of all respondents). 44% of cinema – goers think the rating should not be made advisory, and 16% say they are not sure, which, compared to 20% of all respondents who answered this questions, suggests that those who attend the cinema are more likely to have an opinion one way or another about the advisory 12 rating.


Going on to explore the attitudes of cinema - goers in more detail, of those who initially said no to the advisory 12 concept, just under half of this group (45%) said they still would not change their mind, meaning that over half of this group of cinema – goers would be happy to accept the advisory 12 rating with the introduction of certain conditions.


Parents

Exploring the opinions of parents towards the advisory 12 rating was key to the Norwich pilot study. In the national survey an analysis of the results by parents of children of various ages gives us data that is more comparable with results of the pilot research. The table overleaf shows the results from parents of children in different ages groups most pertinent to the research, of their initial reactions to the advisory 12 rating:



Looking at respondents who are parents and who agree with the advisory 12 rating without being introduced to of any conditions, 64% are parents of at least one child aged 10-11 years (27% more than the total percentage of respondents who agree with the advisory concept). 61% of parents of at least one child aged 12-14 agreed to the advisory 12 rating outright, with 49% of parents of at least one child aged 8-9 years also agreeing with the concept of the advisory 12 rating.


This chart highlights that parents are significantly more likely than the overall population to agree with the introduction of an advisory 12 rating. Parents are more likely to have an opinion one way or another, as is reflected by the lower percentage of ‘don’t know’ responses given by each of the three parent groups. An interesting group to look at in comparison with the pilot research are parents of children aged 10 and 11 years. This group are almost twice as likely than the overall population to say yes to the advisory 12 rating up front, without being introduced to the conditions under which the rating might operate. Pilot research suggested that this group of parents tended to allow their children aged 10 and 11 to see 12 rated films at the cinema, usually with some knowledge of the film they were going to see or after having seen it themselves first.




      1. Profile of Rejecters


56% of the group who initially rejected the advisory 12 rating still would not change their mind, and think that children under 12 still should not see 12 rated films at the cinema, regardless of the possible conditions imposed upon the new rating. This core group of rejecters are more likely to be in the older age groups, and of social grade AB.


When we look at those with children in their households who initially reject, as a percentage of all individuals with children in their households, we see that 37% of those who initially reject go on to change their minds, and that 25% of individuals with children in the household still say no, no matter what (therefore however 75% of individuals with children in the household accept when those who change their mind after being introduced to the conditions have been taken into account).


20% of parents of at least one child aged between the ages of 10-11 who initially said no to the advisory 12 concept also fall into this core rejecter group, suggesting only a small group of parents who feel their children might be most affected by the new rating, refuse advisory 12 under any conditions. One reason for this, highlighted in the pilot, may be that parents of children aged 10-11 feel that their children are of an age able to cope with the content of most 12 rated films anyway, and generally they trust the 12 rating.


This core group of rejecters, however, when seen in terms of the overall population, make up just 30% of all individuals. There was little variation from overall sample, when this core group was split down by region, however those in the family lifestages were again less likely to continue to reject the advisory 12 rating when prompted with conditions, suggesting that children are a key influencing factor.


3.3 Conditions surrounding the advisory 12 rating


Those respondents who initially said ‘yes’ to the advisory 12 rating were introduced to a number of conditions under which the advisory rating could operate. 48% of respondents went on to state that if there was more information on the content of the film available AND children had to be accompanied by an adult then they would be most happy to see the 12 rating be made advisory. 33% think that information on films alone would make them most happy to see the rating be made advisory, and 18% state that adult accompaniment is the condition under which they would be most happy for the 12 rating to become a guideline.


The results of this section suggest that there is a role for both information on films and accompaniment of a child under 12 in the implementation of an advisory 12 rating.


Those respondents who initially did not agree with the advisory 12 concept or said they didn’t know, also went on to be introduced to the conditions under which an advisory 12 rating might operate. Of this group, again the majority (24%) felt that more information on films AND the accompaniment of a child under 12 would make then change their mind, and they would be happy to see the 12 rating become advisory. 10% think that just having more information available would make them most likely to change their mind, with 9% seeing accompaniment of the child under 12 as the condition that would make them most happy to change their mind and accept the advisory 12 rating.


Looking at the sample of individuals within the panel who have children in their households, we see that of those who initially reject the rating (49% say an immediate ‘no’ or are unsure about their opinion) 16% would change their mind if more consumer advice was available, and 11% would change their mind if accompaniment were made necessary. 33% would change their mind and accept the rating if both conditions were introduced.


3.4 Adult Accompaniment


A question that arose from the Norwich pilot study was that of the status of the accompanying adult, in the condition that a child under 12 had to be accompanied to the advisory 12 rated film.


In the national survey 64% of respondents think that the accompanying adult should be a parent. Of those who agreed with the advisory 12 rating initially,


59% think that the accompanying adult could also be any other responsible adult. Those respondents with children in their household however are more likely than the overall population to agree that any other responsible adult should be the accompanying adult (63%, compared to 59% overall). The focus group stage of the pilot research showed that parents were happy to let their adult friends or family relations take their children to the cinema, and the national survey reflects this.




3.5 Consumer Advice Issues


Information and consumer advice about the films shown at the cinema might appear in a variety of sources. Respondents were asked which, if any, of a list of sources of information and consumer advice about films would be most useful to them. The options seen as most useful to respondents are in film listings for the cinemas in the local paper (78%), followed closely by alongside reviews in the local papers (77%), and alongside reviews (74%).


Sources of information on films thought to be least useful to respondents are in children’s magazines (38%), in other magazines (48%), over the phone from the cinema (53%) and on billboards not in cinema (54%). Other useful places to find consumer advice on films was mentioned by 20% of respondents.