The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) published their new Classification Guidelines yesterday (13 Jan.) outlining their updated set of rules and regulations regarding film, TV and music video content. The new regulations were compiled following a public consultation that sought the opinion of 10,000 UK citizens, regarding their views on explicit content.

Pour it Up
Rihanna's 'Pour it Up' video came under heavy criticism for its explicit themes last year

This spells bad news for performers such as Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears, who debuted sexually charged music videos over the last twelve months, garnering a backlash from some concerned UK citizens. The new study took into consideration the fact that a number of people found that the BBFC standards had fallen in recent years, allowing younger audience members to view scenes deemed inappropriate by some. For example, the film The Woman in Black, which was given a 12A rating by the BBFC receiving a high number of complaints for its lower rating certificate.

The specific changes brought on board by the Classification Guidelines resulting from the public consultation include:

• Greater weight will be given to the theme and tone of a film or video, particularly around the 12A/12 and 15 level

• Particular attention will be given to the psychological impact of horror, as well as strong visual detail such as gore

• Regarding language, the public wants the BBFC to be stricter with the language allowed at U and more flexible about allowing very strong language at 15. Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public

Woman in Black
Woman in Black received a surprisingly high acceptance rating in the survey

Next Page: David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, gives his opinion on the change of standards