Broadcast Law Blog

Broadcast Law Blog

Tag Archives: ads

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

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 Fines for Noncommercial Stations Having Underwriting Announcements That Were Too Commercial – Even Where the Station Received No Money

Posted in Noncommercial Broadcasting
Last week, the FCC issued several fines to noncommercial broadcasters who had underwriting announcements that sounded too commercial.  In these decisions, the Commission found that the stations had broadcast promotional announcements for commercial businesses – and those announcements did not conform to the FCC’s rules requiring that announcements acknowledging contributions to noncommercial stations cannot contain qualitative claims… Continue Reading

Gazing Into the Crystal Ball – The Outlook for Broadcast Regulation in 2009

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, Cable Carriage, Digital Radio, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Fairness Doctrine, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Come the New Year, we all engage in speculation about what’s ahead in our chosen fields, so it’s time for us to look into our crystal ball to try to discern what Washington may have in store for broadcasters in 2009. With each new year, a new set of regulatory issues face the broadcaster from the… Continue Reading

Senate Candidates File Lawsuits For Defamation in TV Commercials – But Not Against the TV Stations

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In two races for the US Senate, candidates have filed defamation lawsuits against their opponents charging that attack ads go over the line from political argument to actionable falsehoods.  However these suits ultimately play out, they demonstrate the premise that we’ve written about before, that broadcast stations are prohibited by FCC rules and the Communications Act from censoring the… Continue Reading

FCC Rules Require Non-Discrimination Clauses in All Advertising Sales Contracts – Act Now to Avoid Trouble Later

Posted in Advertising Issues, EEO Compliance/Diversity, License Renewal
In the FCC’s recent Report and Order on Diversity, released earlier this year, the Commission announced new requirements for all broadcast station’s advertising sales contracts. The new FCC rule requires that all advertising contracts contain clauses ensuring that there is no discrimination based on race or gender in the sale of advertising time. This new requirement, which… Continue Reading

Broadcasters Prohibited From Censoring a Candidate’s Ad

Posted in Political Broadcasting
As we enter the waning days of this election season, where some candidates get more desperate and the attack ads get sharper, broadcasters are often faced with requests that they pull an ad created by a candidate.  Claims are made that the ad contains untrue claims about an opponent or that the ad contains copyrighted material used without permission. … Continue Reading

Political Advertising Rules for Station Websites – Opportunites and Pitfalls

Posted in On Line Media, Political Broadcasting
Each election season brings new issues for broadcasters. In recent years, broadcasters are more and more frequently dealing with requests for political uses of the a station’s website. For the most part, unlike a broadcast station that is subject to the full panoply of the FCC’s political rules, those rules largely don’t apply to station… 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

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

Prescription Drug Advertising Restrictions – Back on the Table?

Posted in Advertising Issues
Last year, Congress considered limits on direct to consumer (DTC) prescription drug advertising (about which we wrote here), but this effort stalled.  A recent letter from two Congressional leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee suggest that Congress is looking at these issues once again.  This advertising has become important to television networks, and to drug manufacturers… Continue Reading

The Run-Up to Super Tuesday – Rush, the Super Bowl, Union Ads and an Hour on the Hallmark Channel

Posted in Political Broadcasting
In the last few days before the Super Tuesday series of presidential primaries, efforts are being made across the political spectrum to convince voters to vote for or against the remaining candidates.  With Obama buying Super Bowl ads in many markets, Clinton planning a one-hour program on the Hallmark Channel the night before the primaries,… Continue Reading

As Presidential Races Heat Up, So Do the Attack Ads – Legal Issues For Broadcasters Dealing With Third Party Political Ads

Posted in Political Broadcasting
As the dates for the first Presidential primaries draw near, more and more stories appear in the press about attack ads growing in importance.  These ads are coming both from the candidates themselves trying to draw distinctions with their opponents, and from third party, supposedly independent, groups either attacking or supporting one of the candidates.  See, for instance, the recent story… Continue Reading

Will You Drink to That? – Advertising Liquor on Broadcast Stations

Posted in Advertising Issues
The New York Times recently published an article about NBC’s owned and operated station in New York City acceptance of advertising for liquor.  While ads for beer and wine have been a staple on broadcast stations (though see our discussion of the limits on that advertising, here), ads for other alcoholic beverages ads have been less frequent.  Many broadcasters… Continue Reading

One Sign That Broadcasters Are About to Become Political Footballs – Obama Suggests Shorter Broadcast License Terms and Less Consolidation

Posted in Advertising Issues, Children's Programming and Advertising, Indecency, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
At last Thursday’s Public Hearing on multiple ownership in Chicago, about which we wrote here, a statement was read by a spokesman for Presidential candidate Barack Obama.  According to press reports, the statement expressed the candidate’s positions favoring shorter license renewal terms for broadcasters so that they would be subject to more public scrutiny, as well as… Continue Reading