Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: sponsorship identification

$44,000 Fine for 11 Missing Sponsorship IDs for Radio Station 45 Second Spots – Emphasizes Importance of Strict Compliance with All FCC Programming Rules

Posted in FCC Fines, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Programming Regulations
In a decision released this week, the FCC fined a Chicago radio station $44,000 for omitting sponsorship identification announcements on 11 on-air spots promoting the positions of the sponsoring organization on certain issues facing the local community.  Finding that the purpose of the sponsorship identification rules (Section 317 of the Communications Act and Section 73.1212 … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Revised Rules for Online Public File – Including Political File – and Discusses the Public Interest Obligations of TV Stations

Posted in Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
At its meeting today, the FCC vacated its 2007 Order mandating an online public file and the filing of the Form 355 “Enhanced Disclosure” form that detailed the public interest service of television broadcasters. But these requirements are not gone, as the Commission has adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asking to reinstate an obligation for … Continue Reading

FCC Confirms $4000 Fine For Televising Video News Release Without Sponsorship ID

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification
  The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order, confirming a $4000 fine levied against a Minneapolis TV station for airing a video news release ("VNR") without sponsorship identification.  This case was previously discussed in our March 25th blog entry, when the Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability ("NAL") against the station for this violation.  The primary lesson to … Continue Reading

FCC Fines Two TV Stations $4000 For Airing Video News Releases Without Sponsorship Identification, Even Though the Stations Were Not Paid for the Broadcast

Posted in Advertising Issues, FCC Fines, Payola and Sponsorship Identification
The FCC has issued two Notices of Apparent Liability, each proposing fines of $4000 to TV station licensees, both for airing video news releases ("VNR") in news or information programs without sponsorship identifications.  In both cases, the station received the VNRs for free, but was paid nothing for including them in their programming.  The station … Continue Reading

So Just What is an “Issue Ad” and Why Should I Care?

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
In the last few weeks, I’ve been asked several times by broadcasters whether an ad should be considered an "issue ad."   Usually, the ad in question deals with some sort of faintly controversial issue, and the broadcaster seems torn about how to classify the ad.   In many ways, the answer is almost irrelevant as, other … Continue Reading

New FTC Guidelines on Endorsements and Sponsorship Disclosure – Broadcasters and New Media Companies Beware

Posted in Advertising Issues, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification
On December 1, 2009,  FTC revised Guidelines went into effect updating policies dealing with advertising using testimonials and endorsements, specifically affecting celebrity endorsements and sponsorship disclosure.  These revised guidelines directly impact the established practices of broadcasters and new media companies.  These revised endorsement and testimonial guidelines effectively ban the old standard “results not typical” disclaimer so commonly in … Continue Reading

David Oxenford and FCC’s Bobby Baker Prepare Broadcasters for 2010 Elections with Webinar on Political Broadcasting Rules

Posted in Appearances, Political Broadcasting
On November 10, Davis Wright Tremaine’s David Oxenford and Bobby Baker, the head of the FCC’s Office of Political Broadcasting, conducted a webinar on the FCC’s political broadcasting rules and policies.  The webinar originated from Lansing, Michigan, before an audience of Michigan Broadcasters, and was webcast to broadcasters in 13 other states.  Topics discussed included reasonable access, … Continue Reading

Amber Husbands and David Oxenford Conduct Webinar for Kansas Association of Broadcasters on Legal Issues for On-Air Talent

Posted in Appearances
Davis Wright Tremaine attorneys Amber Husbands and David Oxenford conducted a webinar on August 26, 2009 for the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, discussing legal issues of importance to on-air talent.  Issues discussed included broadcast indecency, station contests, sponsorship identification and payola issues, potential liability that can arise from the use of social media and newsroom issues.  … Continue Reading

Health Policy Ads on Broadcast Stations – Remember Your Public File Obligations

Posted in Advertising Issues, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal discusses the significant amount of money being spent on television advertising for and against pending proposals for health care reform.  As we have written before, broadcasters are required to keep in their public file information about advertising dealing with Federal issues - records as detailed as those kept for political candidates.  … Continue Reading

Selling Stories In a Broadcast Station’s News Programs – Remember the Sponsorship Identification

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification
A recent stir was created when a Midwestern television company was reported to have signed a contract with a state government agency, promising to market the agency and its programs throughout the state.  This promotion was to include a segment in the company’s televised news promoting the effects of the work of the agency.  Questions were immediately … Continue Reading

Remember FCC Public File Obligations When Running Issue Advertising

Posted in Political Broadcasting
We’re not even in what most would consider election season – except for the two states with off-year governor’s contests and those other states with various state and municipal elections. Yet political ads are running on broadcast stations across the country.  Republican groups have announced plans to run ads attacking certain Democratic Congressmen who are perceived as vulnerable, while certain Democratic … Continue Reading

FCC Investigating TV Commentators Who Were Allegedly Paid to Present Views on Military Issues

Posted in Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
According to numerous press articles, including this one in Multichannel News, the FCC has begun an investigation into several commentators on TV news programs to see if they were receiving payments or other consideration for presenting a particular viewpoint on military issues on which they were interviewed.  According to press reports, the FCC has sent … Continue Reading

Independent Groups Start Running Presidential Attack Ads – What Are the Legal Implications for Broadcasters?

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The American Issues Project has recently started running a controversial new television ad attacking Barrack Obama for his connections to former Weather Underground figure William Ayers.  The text of the ad is reported here.  While reportedly some cable outlets (including Fox News) have refused to air the ad, numerous broadcast stations are also wondering what the … Continue Reading

FEC Denies Request for Sponsorship ID Waiver on 10 or 15 Second Political Ads

Posted in Political Broadcasting
The Federal Election Commission ruled recently that it would not grant a waiver of the requirements for a verbal sponsorship identification on ads by an interest group, the Club for Growth, which wanted to run 10 and 15 second commercials opposing Federal candidates for Congress. Because of the abbreviated length of the commercials, the organization wanted the FEC to … Continue Reading

FCC Begins Investigation of Embedded Advertising and Sponsorship Identification

Posted in Advertising Issues, Payola and Sponsorship Identification
Last week, the FCC commenced its long anticipated proceeding to reexamine its sponsorship identification rules. This proceeding has been rumored for over six months, having appeared on an agenda for a Commission open meeting in December, only to be pulled from the agenda days before it was to have been voted on. The Commission has initiated this … Continue Reading

FCC Meeting Agenda for December 18 – Potentially One of the Most Important in Recent Memory – Multiple Ownership, Localism, Minority Ownership, Product Placement and Cable TV National Ownership Caps

Posted in Advertising Issues, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC has released its agenda for its December 18 meeting – and it promises to be one of the most important,and potentially most contentious, in recent memory.  On the agenda is the Commission’s long awaited decision on the Chairman’s broadcast multiple ownership plan relaxing broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership rules (see our summary here).  Also, the FCC … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Fines for Political Sponsorship ID Violations

Posted in Advertising Issues, Fairness Doctrine, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
The FCC has taken the unusual step of issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability, i.e. an announcement that it has fined a broadcaster, against two TV station owners for failing to provide a sponsorship identification for political material sponsored by another Federal agency–the Department of Education ("DOE").  The proposed fines for these two broadcasters totaled over $70,000.  … Continue Reading