Just like in the Netherlands, 75% of parents in other European countries highly value a rating system for audiovisual content that protects their children from harmful imagery. They use such a system on a daily basis, already. The Dutch Kijkwijzer system meets European parents’ needs since most of them want to see an icon-based rating the moment content starts to play.
These are findings from research that was carried out by research agency GfK, on behalf of NICAM, among more than 6000 parents in 13 European countries. The reason for this research is that tens of millions of European parents have been encountering Kijkwijzer for a few years now, getting to know it as a rating and information system about potential harmfulness to children. Kijkwijzer’s extensive European reach is a result of large, international media companies being based in the Netherlands, where they are obligated to adhere to the Dutch Media Act. Applying Kijkwijzer is mandatory for media companies in the Netherlands, and can also be used for their activities in other European countries.
Kijkwijzer has been around for more than 20 years in the Netherlands. Dutch parents highly appreciate Kijkwijzer and use it often. For NICAM, it’s important to know how effective Kijkwijzer is in other European countries, as well.
The main questions posed during research were: how do European parents want to be informed about the content their children are seeing, what do they worry about, does Kijkwijzer work for them and does it meet their needs?
In the Netherlands, the Kijkwijzer icons have become just that – iconic. Almost everyone knows them. Interestingly, the research shows that parents in other European countries are also quick to recognize the icons as symbols for violence, fear and coarse language. There are some small differences, too: European audiences find the icons for violence (fist) and smoking, alcohol and drugs (syringe) to be the most recognizable. Among Dutch people it’s the fist, the icon for sex (two pairs of feet) and fear (spider) that are most well-known.