Groups To FCC: Don't Weaken Kids Rules

The commission is urged to “protect programming and advertising safeguards for children’s TV.”
By
TVNewsCheck,

Advocates called today on the FCC to reject an effort by major media companies to “eliminate or weaken important rules for children’s television.”

The NAB, Internet and Television Association (NCTA), CBS, Disney, Fox, Univision and others have asked the FCC to significantly reduce advertising limits on children’s programming. Industry commenters also urged the FCC to reconsider rules that require broadcasters to provide quality educational programming as part of their obligation to serve the public interest.

Story continues after the ad

In comments filed today, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy called on the FCC to reject such proposals to repeal or modify the current rules. 

“The Trump Administration and the FCC should stand up for the rights of children and parents and reject this crass campaign by the broadcast lobby,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “The broadcast industry receives billions of dollars in benefits from its free use of public resources, including invaluable rights to the airwaves. It is unconscionable that TV stations and networks want to kill off one of their few remaining obligations to the public.”

In April, the FCC issued a public notice on its “Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative,” asking for suggestions about which of the FCC’s media-related rules should be modified or repealed. Media companies replied with a deregulation wish list that would allow them to use kids’ television programming to market directly to children. 

The major networks urged the FCC to relax its rules prohibiting product integration and product placement on kids’ shows, arguing that YouTube and other child-directed online services are not subject to those restrictions. Advocates responded by pointing out that internet and mobile providers are simply ignoring longstanding children’s media principles, which are based on child development, and that a lack of online regulation is not a good reason for the FCC to eliminate important safeguards for the millions of children who watch traditional TV. 

Brand Connections

“It is extremely disappointing that broadcasters want to join the race to the bottom when it comes to exploiting children’s developmental vulnerabilities for profit,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “Media companies want to gut longstanding safeguards because young people an incredibly lucrative market for advertisers. But research demonstrates that children are particularly vulnerable to marketing and benefit from rules that require ad limits and separation of programming and commercial content.” 

Advocates also oppose a request by the Internet and Television Association to repeal an FCC rule known as the “website display rule.” The FCC adopted this rule in 2004 to prohibit advertisers from engaging in “host-selling” to children, which the transition to digital broadcasting could otherwise allow.  

Angela J. Campbell, director of the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown and counsel to some of the advocates, called the effort to repeal this rule disingenuous. “The media companies say the website display rule is unnecessary because television has rarely been used to interact and target advertising to children,” she said. “But at the same time, these companies engaging in a practice known as ‘programmatic marketing,’ which offers advertisers the ability to target ads to specific viewers of cable and broadcast television programming.” 

In addition, these groups oppose efforts by media companies to be relieved of their public interest obligation to provide educational programming for children, and to produce public reports to help the FCC determine whether that programming meets the obligations laid out in the Children’s Television Act.  

“The television industry made a commitment to serve the nation’s children by providing quality educational programs,” said Professor Kathryn Montgomery of American University, who led the effort to strengthen the FCC’s rules on the Children’s Television Act. “However, broadcasters failed to live up to these minimal obligations and the FCC has been irresponsible in allowing the industry to evade one of its only remaining public interest requirements. Rather than considering elimination of these rules, the FCC (and Congress) should conduct an investigation into TV programming and advertising practices directed at children.”

The comments can be read here.

 

Tags

Comments (3) -

AdamMadMan Nickname posted a month ago
What these people are saying makes me want to smash my head through a wall. I mean, are you kidding me? The rules you want to keep aren't making kids' over-the-air TV better! If any thing, these stupid, outdated regulations are killing it! Creative strangulation from strict censors combined with a severely damaged ability for quality kids programming (like cartoons, game shows, and other scripted programming) Have caused every producer of shows for the 2-11 crowd to jump ship to cable and internet services, and for the most part, all that's left on free TV is bottom-of-the-barrel documentaries and "inspiring" reality shows like the stuff Litton puts out. These teen shows, besides being the type of thing more likely to get the target audience to sleep in rather than wake up, are also the same type of shilling the industry rules were meant to fight in the first place. The fact that you're targeting an older audience doesn't change the corporate selling-out, and claiming the companies sponsoring your crap to be better alternatives to junk food doesn't make it any less sleazy.
AdamMadMan Nickname posted a month ago
"...a severely damaged ability for quality kids programming (like cartoons, game shows, and other scripted programming) Have caused..." What I meant to say was that the ability for kids' show to make their budgets back has been damaged severely.
Megatron81 Nickname posted a month ago
Time to due away with E/I programming put cartoons back the only ones to do that is Sinclair with it's Kids Click which I have caught the final hour on Saturday at noon on CW7. All the ad's are for Chuck E Chesses, Value ad's and that's about which toys, Frosted Flakes, Corn Pops, Trixs, Mickey D's Happy Meals ETC. These groups have killed it all with these outdated rules time to get rid of them.
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 19, 2017
  • 1.
    9/1.5
  • 2.
    3/0.3
  • 3.
    3/0.6
  • 4.
    2/0.3
  • 5.
    2/0.3
  • 6.
    1/0.2
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Gail Pennington

    A sweet little show, low key and more smile-worthy than hilarious, ABC's Downward Dog won't be for everyone. Animal lovers are likely to find it adorable; cynics, unless they really, really love dogs, probably should stay away.

  • Neal Justin

    Tina Fey will inevitably let down her legions of TV fans with a real stinker. But not yet. The comic maestro, whom Rolling Stone recently ranked as the third greatest player in Saturday Night Live history, is following 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with NBC’s Great News, yet another fast-paced, perfectly absurd sitcom about a single woman trying to maintain a personal and professional life with Mary Richards-like spunk.

  • Jeanne Jakle

    Don’t go into the new round of Fargo expecting the grab-’em-by-the-throat shocks that opened previous seasons of TV’s chilliest crime anthology. The latest incarnation of the FX series from Noah Hawley takes its time worming into your mind and getting you hooked. Season three establishes its characters at a much more leisurely pace: the central quartet, the unscrupulous locals who surround them and the sinister interlopers who make these drab Minnesota lives more complicated and, eventually, scary as heck.

  • Daniel Fienberg

    In Brockmire, Hank Azaria's Funny or Die sportscaster works surprisingly well as a regular series lead on the new IFC show, costarring the excellent Amanda Peet. Over the course of the eight episodes, Brockmire moves through a trio of arcs, delivering underdog sports shenanigans, a relationship that makes more sense as it progresses and Brockmire's sad and probably doomed search for redemption. That's all propped up with enough low-brow jokes, raunchy baseball references and disreputable hijinks that the show never wallows. I reached the finale and was surprised at how much I wanted to see more from a character I initially thought couldn't sustain more than five minutes.

  • Maureen Ryan

    It’s appropriate that The Good Fight on CBS All Access has a slightly more jagged and splintered atmosphere than The Good Wife, the long-running CBS drama that starred Julianna Margulies. In the opening minutes of the first episode, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), watches as Donald Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president. Before the 50-minute pilot is over, the jarring changing of the guard in Washington is the least of her troubles. Baranski brings a heartbreaking rawness to her performance as Diane, who never got enough meaningful screen time on The Good Wife. Diane’s plight is thus personal but also metaphorical: She likens the collapse of every pillar of her supposedly solid and trustworthy world to a nightmare.

  • David Wiegand

    It’s hard to say which is more excessive in the new CBS crime thriller, Training Day: the action or the dialogue. But in either case, the series from Jerry Bruckheimer and Anthony Fuqua goes a long way toward waking up broadcast TV’s mid-season. There is plenty of action, enhanced by fast-paced editing, in the three episodes made available to critics. And there’s violence. But most of all, there is dialogue so rich and colorful, it almost evokes the stuff of guys like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, or at least Sgt. Joe Friday. Training Day just may get away with murder on Thursday nights when the numbers are counted.

  • Hank Stuever

    Well, they only had to remake a jillion TV shows from yesteryear to finally get one exactly, perfectly right. Not only is Netflix’s reimagined One Day at a Time a joy to watch, it’s also the first time in many years that a multicamera sitcom (the kind filmed on a set with studio-audience laughter) has seemed so instinctively comfortable in its own skin. It doesn’t try to subvert or improve on the sitcom format; it simply exhibits faith that the sitcom genre can still work in a refreshing and relevant way.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad