The Parental Advisory Logo

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The Parental Advisory Logo by Mind Map: The Parental Advisory Logo

1. Why is it in black and white?

1.1. The logo was purposely made in the colours of black and white as this way it would be prominent and stand out on any album cover, regardless of its colour scheme, design or patterns, thus allowing, the audience to be pre-warned about its explicit content before buying the album.

2. Why is the word 'Advisory' so large?

2.1. The large font of the word 'Advisory' in comparison to the rest of the text was purposefully created to be dominant and have a prominent position. This cleverly emphasises the fact that an album containing this logo can still be bought by any age group, as this is only a warning and does not have to be adhered to.

3. Where did it come from?

3.1. In 1985, a non-profit foundation called 'Parents Music Resource Centre' (PMRC) was formed by 'Tipper Gore' (wife to then-Senator 'Al Gore'), 'Susan Baker' (wife to former Secretary of State 'James A. Baker'), 'Pam Howar', and 'Sally Nevius'. These became known as the “Washington Wives". These women were becoming increasingly concerned about children's exposure to explicit lyrics in music, and thus were very clever as they utilised their connections to start a political battle against musicians and the music industry itself.

4. Why does this link to Stuart Hall's Reception Theory?

4.1. The Parental Advisory label can be linked to the theory in which Stuart Hall outlined, emphasising that an audience member will decode a media text in one of three ways: preferred, negotiated, or oppositional. Whilst some younger audience members may have been dissuaded to not buy certain albums due to this label (the preferred reading), other individuals have taken an oppositional reading ignoring the logo's advice, and almost rebelling against it by wearing clothing mocking and mimicking the logo itself. This can even be seen making an appearance in the 1992 film 'White Men Can't Jump'. Not everybody decoded this logo in the same manner.

5. Why did some artists initially oppose this logo?

5.1. When this logo was first produced, some artists and others in the industry were worried about the effects of censorship, especially on sales performance. Initially, some stores even vowed they would not sell albums containing this logo. However, fans still continued to buy albums, and the younger target audience whose parents discouraged album purchase, found alternative ways to listen to it, thus having little impact on artist's sales.