FCC WEB RULE FOR CHILDREN'S SHOWS GOES TO TWO COURTS
Consumer Groups Want It Tougher, Broadcasters Call It Unconstitutional
FCC COMMISSIONER DECRIES 'COMMERCIALIZATION OF MEDIA'
Rails Against 'Fake News' and 'Relentless Marketing'
CARU TARGETS PRODUCT PLACEMENT AND CARTOON ADS
Industry Group Raises Public Profile on Obesity Issue
REPORT HITS 'COMMERCIALIZATION OF CHILDHOOD'
Calls for Restrictions on Children-Oriented Advertising
The ANA's court filing this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit supports Viacom’s request to stay an FCC rule before it can take effect in Jan. 1. The ANA contends the rule -- which, among other things, prohibits displaying Web addresses in children's programming for Web pages that feature cartoon characters selling products -- conflicts with the traditional definition of advertising and “is contrary to official U.S. government policy with respect to the Internet.”
No 'unbound discretion'
“The government does not have unbounded discretion to label any speech it wishes as ‘commercial,’” the ANA asserted. Marketers and media companies are concerned not only with the effects the rule could have on ad pricing and availability, but also on marketers’ ability to extend promotional programs into various media.
“The new rules threaten to strangle new technologies and business models [and] will thwart not only creativity and innovation [but] eliminate a potential revenue stream that can support the shows,” the ANA filing states.
The rule makes three main changes in marketing on shows aimed at those younger than 13.
The last rule could dramatically affect how broadcasters turn kids' programming into gateways for new multimedia content, just as digital broadcasting opens the door for new links from program content to Web sites.
Broadcasters and ad groups are trying to overturn the rule.
The ANA, which has asked the court to allow it to join Viacom’s attempt to get the rule stayed, said the FCC has gone too far. “The new rules illegitimately impose FCC content controls on Internet communications [and] the FCC erroneously expanded the scope of ‘commercial matter,’ departing from its long standing definition,” the filing said.
“These changes will have a significant adverse impact on the First Amendment rights of ANA’s members, limiting their ability to reach viewers of children’s programs and the Web sites related to them and the revenue streams necessary to produce high-quality advertiser-supported children’s shows,” the ANA said in its filing.