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Display classification markings

It is a legal requirement to display classification markings on classified publications, films and computer games.

What are markings?

Markings give Australians clear classification information so they can make informed choices about the content they and those in their care read, watch and play.

A marking includes the classification (rating) and the consumer advice or the classification description.

Markings for classified content

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Markings and Consumer Advice) Determination 2014 (the Markings Determination) sets out rules for what the markings look like and how to display them.

The general rules for displaying markings are:

  • content must display the classification (rating), and consumer advice or classification description
  • markings must be prominent on the content and easy to access:
    • for physical content, the marking should be in the lower left corner on the front face or close to the title
    • for digital content, the marking should be close to the title
    • for screen displays, the marking must display for enough time to allow viewers to read the marking in full
  • if it is not practicable to display the marking on the content because of the type or format, the marking must be displayed before the point of purchase or access.

Publications

Publication markings must be in the format and size in Schedule 2 of the Markings Determination.

Publications that are classified ‘Category 1 Restricted’ or ‘Category 2 Restricted’ and contained in opaque packaging material are required to display the markings on both the publication and the packaging.

Films and computer games

Film and computer game markings must be in the format and size in Schedule 1 of Markings Determination. They may feature the:

  • combination box
  • classification symbol rectangle, or
  • classification symbol square.

The classification rectangle or square may only be used where the combination box would not be legible.

Deeming classifications

Films classified under Australian broadcast legislation and deemed under the Classification Act must display markings as per Schedule 1 of the Markings Determination:

Decision

Marking

Decisions with consumer advice

Display the combination box, or if this would not be legible the:

  • classification symbol rectangle, or
  • classification symbol square.

Decisions without consumer advice

Display the combination box, or if this would not be legible the:

  • classification symbol rectangle, or
  • classification symbol square, and
  • the classification description as per Schedule 1, Part 2.

Markings for advertising classified content

Advertisements for classified content can be in any of these formats:

  • printed
  • digital (still or moving)
  • on physical products.

As per the Markings Determination, all advertisements must display:

  • the combination box, or
  • if the combination box would not be legible, the classification symbol rectangle or square that applies to the film or computer game.

Some advertisements must have additional markings. You can learn about these in the table below.

Type of advertisement

Additional marking

Multiple films or computer games

A legend that lists all ratings, and consumer advisories or descriptions.

Physical products containing only advertisements

  • The relevant marking for the film or computer game that has the highest classification, and
  • If the title of any of the films or computer games advertised is listed on the back of the physical product, next to each title:
    •  the relevant classification marking, and
    •  if practicable, the consumer advice.

Publications

The marking may be increased or reduced in size and scale with the rest of the material included in the advertisement; however, it must remain in proportion with the publication’s front cover.

Cross-promotion guidelines

Products that are not films or computer games that reference films or computer games being available for viewing, playing, sale or hire are required to display classification markings as if they were an advertisement for the film or computer game.

For example, a TV commercial for a drink product that refers to a specific film being shown in cinemas will need to display the relevant classification marking for that film.