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Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: Advertising Issues

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Preparing for the 2020 Elections – Our Updated Political Broadcasting Guide

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
2020 will no doubt be a very active year for political advertising. To help broadcasters sort out the confusing rules they need to follow in connection with such advertising, we have updated our Political Broadcasting Guide for Broadcasters (note that the URL for the updated version has not changed from prior versions, so your bookmarks… Continue Reading

Political Broadcasting Issues to Consider Now for the 2020 Election Campaign

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
The 2020 presidential elections already loom large, with one of the over 20 Democratic candidates for the Presidential nomination seemingly appearing on whatever TV talk show you tune into on your TV set. With the first debate among these candidates scheduled for late June, it seems like we have a real election already underway –… Continue Reading

Looking at “Legal” Marijuana and CBD Advertising – A Presentation on the Issues

Posted in Advertising Issues, License Renewal, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Perhaps some of the most controversial areas in broadcast advertising are those surrounding the advertising of cannabis products. While many states claim to have legalized marijuana, either for medical or recreational purposes, the Federal government still considers its possession and distribution a felony, and has specific laws that criminalize the use of radio frequencies, the… Continue Reading

FDA Schedules Hearing on Cannabis; FTC and FDA Send Cease and Desist Letters to Sellers of CBD Products – What is the Effect on Advertising?

Posted in Advertising Issues, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The developments surrounding the regulation of cannabis products, and the impact of that regulation on the ability of broadcasters and other media companies to run ads for these products, continue on an almost daily basis.  Of course, the developments don’t all point in a single direction.  As described below, at the same time as the… Continue Reading

March Madness: Nothing but Net for Trademark Infringement Claims

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, Trademark
Alternate Title: March Madness Trademarks: It’s March Spring and You Do Not Want to Make the NCAA Mad Angry at You As we have previously reported, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is very serious about taking action against anyone who may try to trade off the goodwill in its March Madness marks — even if… Continue Reading

A Call to Regulate E-Cig Advertising – What is the FCC’s Role in Regulating Advertising For the Vices?

Posted in Advertising Issues, Children's Programming and Advertising, FCC Fines, General FCC, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
In recent months, there have been many calls to regulate e-cigs, and potentially to regulate the marketing of all sorts of vaping products, including a call last week by an FCC Commissioner in an op-ed article in USA Today.  As we wrote several months ago, these suggestions have been based in the fear that increased… Continue Reading

As Super Bowl Approaches, Advertisers Should Be Aware of The NFL’s Efforts to Protect Its Golden Goose – 2019 Update on Super Bowl Advertising and Promotions

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, Trademark
For several years, we have posted guidelines about engaging in or accepting advertising or promotions that directly or indirectly allude to the Super Bowl without a license from the NFL. It’s that time of year again, so here is an updated version of our prior posts. The Super Bowl means big bucks. It is estimated… Continue Reading

Beware of the Political File Obligations in this Hot Political Advertising Year

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
In this “political” year with Congressional mid-term elections in November, including many hotly contested races for seats in the US House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as many state and local elections, I receive many questions from broadcasters across the country. Perhaps the area in which most questions are received deals with the… Continue Reading

Advertising for E-Cigs – Concerns about Targeting Children

Posted in Advertising Issues, Children's Programming and Advertising, Programming Regulations
E-cig advertising has been one of those areas where broadcasters and other media companies have been looking warily at the potential for regulatory intervention. So far, as we wrote here, the FDA has only required general disclosures that “e-cigs contain nicotine and that nicotine is an addictive chemical” – an obligation that took effect last month,… Continue Reading

Broadcasting and Cable Political Window Begins September 7 For November Elections – A Refresher on the FCC’s Lowest Unit Charge Rules

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
With the lowest unit charge window for the November elections going into effect tomorrow (September 7), we thought that it was a good idea to review the basics FCC rules and policies affecting those charges. With this election, where control of Congress may well be hotly contested and may result in competitive elections across the… Continue Reading

More September Regulatory Dates – Effective Date of New Application Fees, Filing Deadline for TV Shared Services Agreements, Lowest Unit Rate For September Election and Reminder on Repacking Requirements

Posted in Advertising Issues, Digital Television, FCC Fees, General FCC, Multiple Ownership Rules, Political Broadcasting, Television
Yesterday, we wrote about the regulatory dates coming up for broadcasters in September.  Even though that was an extensive list, we realized later that we left a few off.  So here are a few more issues to consider in September.  Plus, the FCC yesterday reminded repacked TV stations of all of the requirements for TV… Continue Reading

A Presentation on Legal Issues for Podcasters – Who Owns What?

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, On Line Media, Podcasting, Website Issues
Last week, I spoke at Podcast Movement 2018 – a large conference of podcasters held in Philadelphia. My presentation, Legal Issues In Podcasting – What Broadcasters Need to Know, was part of the Broadcasters Meet Podcasters Track. The slides from my presentation are available here. In the presentation, I discussed copyright issues, including some of the… Continue Reading

Google Announces Programmatic Buys of Audio Ads – Looking at Legal Issues with Programmatic Sales

Posted in Advertising Issues, Internet Radio, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting
Last week, it was announced that Google through its DoubleClick platform, would be offering programmatic buying opportunities for advertisers looking to place audio ads into online streams. While that system is initially being rolled out among the big digital audio services, if it or other similar platforms are expanded more broadly, it could bring more… Continue Reading

12 Years of the Broadcast Law Blog – Where We Have Been and What We Are Looking at Next

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, General FCC, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, On Line Media, Television, Uncategorized, Website Issues
In 10 days, we’ll mark the 12th anniversary of my first post welcoming readers to this Blog.  I’d like to thank all of you who read the blog, and the many of you who have had nice words to say about its contents over the years.  In the dozen years that the blog has been… Continue Reading

Dealing with a Local Political Candidate Who Appears in a Spot Advertisement for a Commercial Business

Posted in Advertising Issues, Political Broadcasting
With election season upon us again, I’ve had one question that has come up repeatedly in the last few weeks about local candidates – usually running for state or municipal offices – who appear in advertisements for local businesses that they own or manage. Often times, these individuals will routinely appear in a business’ ads… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Strikes Down Law against Sports Betting – But Broadcasters Need to Proceed with Caution

Posted in Advertising Issues, Uncategorized
On Monday, the US Supreme Court issued an opinion striking down a Federal law (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act or “PASPA”) which prohibited state legislatures from taking any action to legalize betting on sports. PASPA also contained a restriction on advertising sports betting. The state of New Jersey challenged that law, arguing that it… Continue Reading

Legal Issues for the Broadcaster in Digital and Social Media Advertising

Posted in Advertising Issues, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Radio, Internet Radio, Internet Video, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Privacy, Website Issues
Last week, Aaron Burstein of our law firm and I conducted a webinar for several state broadcast associations on legal issues in digital and social media advertising. As broadcasters become more active in the digital world, whether it be through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, or by posting their content online through their… Continue Reading

Solve for “X”:  NFL is to Super Bowl® as USOC is to Olympics® as NCAA is to X® (There Is More Than One Correct Answer!) – Trademarks and March Madness

Posted in Advertising Issues, Trademark
It was almost exactly one year ago that we reported that the National Collegiate Athletic Association filed a trademark infringement action in federal court against a company that ran online sports-themed promotions and sweepstakes under the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.”  The NCAA prevailed because the defendant entered into an agreement not to use… Continue Reading

The Super Bowl is Over – Let’s Talk About the Olympics and Trademarks

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, Programming Regulations, Trademark
Last month, we posted some updated guidelines about engaging in or accepting advertising or promotions that directly or indirectly allude to the Super Bowl without a license from the NFL.  “As Super Bowl Approaches, Advertisers Should Be Aware of The NFL’s Efforts to Protect Its Golden Goose – 2018 Update”  Now, that is behind us… Continue Reading

FCC Reaches Consent Decree with Noncommercial Broadcaster Imposing Largest Fine Ever Issued for Underwriting Violations – $115,000

Posted in Advertising Issues, FCC Fines, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Noncommercial broadcast stations are licensed to be just that – noncommercial. These stations can run “underwriting announcements” acknowledging commercial businesses that provide financial support to the stations, but such announcements must meet strict guidelines – including restrictions on “calls to action,” prohibitions on statements about prices or discounts, and requirements that no qualitative claim about… Continue Reading

As Super Bowl Approaches, Advertisers Should Be Aware of The NFL’s Efforts to Protect Its Golden Goose – 2018 Update on Super Bowl Advertising and Promotions

Posted in Advertising Issues, Intellectual Property, Trademark
For many years, we have posted guidelines about engaging in or accepting advertising or promotions that directly or indirectly allude to the Super Bowl without a license from the NFL. We are at that time of year again, so here is an updated version of our prior posts. The Super Bowl means big bucks. It is… Continue Reading

Attorney General Sessions Memo Frees Federal Prosecutors to Pursue Marijuana Cases – What Does It Mean for Broadcast Advertisements?

Posted in Advertising Issues, License Renewal, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a one-page memo (here) advising Federal prosecutors to use their discretion in pursuing marijuana prosecutions – even in states where state law has made marijuana legal for either medical or recreational use.  Even though some states have removed state law restrictions on the sale or use of marijuana, marijuana… Continue Reading