FCC Fines 7 For Kid’s TV Ad Violations

The FCC last Friday nailed seven stations between $25,000 and $70,000 for exceeding the limits on commercial time in children's shows -- 10.5 minutes per hour on weekdays and 12 minutes per hour on weekends -- but one, Belo's KSKN Spokane, Wash., was hit for violating the program-length commercial rule that which prohibits blurring the line between kids programming and the advertising within it.

The FCC last Friday nailed seven stations between $25,000 and $70,000 for multiple violations of the children’s programming rules. The fines totaled $270,000.

Most of the station were cited for exceeding the limits on commercial time in children’s shows — 10.5 minutes per hour on weekdays and 12 minutes per hour on weekends.

The largest fine, $70,000, however, was imposed on Belo’s KSKN Spokane, Wash., for violating the program-length commercial rule, which prohibits blurring the line between kids programming and the advertising within it.

According to the FCC’s notice of apparent liability, KSKN on 86 occasions in 2002 and 2003 violated the rule by airing a commercial for Collector’s Zone trading cards during the Yu-Gi-Oh! program. The spot contained a “very brief pictorial and aural reference to Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards,” the notice says.

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The other six offenders — and their fines:

Cox’s WFTV Orlando — $40,000

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Cox’s WSOC Charlotte, N.C., — $25,000

Hearst’s WCVB Boston — $30,000

Acme’s WBDT Springfield, Ohio — $45,000

Media General’s WJTV Jackson, Miss. — $30,000

Media General’s WHLT Hattiesburg-Laurel, Miss. — $30,000


Comments (7)

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Shirley Putnam says:

June 1, 2010 at 9:38 am

It’s about time! Now, if the FCC will enforce ALL the rules broadcasters are SUPPOSED to follow, maybe the broadcast industry will stop acting like it’s the wild west. Keep the laws you agreed to uphold in your license. Don’t lie, cheat, or steal. Can we do that, please?

    Lisa Cross says:

    June 1, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Amen to having the FCC enforce all the rules. One of my pet peaves in Corpus Christi is the lack of proper station IDs by many of the stations. Some totally ignore the ID at the top of the hour and others will give it well before the proper window. It seems DJs are not told when or that they have to give the legal ID and program directors seem to not care. A few $1,000 fines per incident would be nice to get someone’s attention.

Sean Lubens says:

June 1, 2010 at 10:26 am

Since the FCC is now taking a closer look at LMA / SSA’s, it might be interesting to see if such transactions violate the rules more than stand alone or group owned stations.

tracey kimball says:

June 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm

The FCC should look at a station in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.I’m not going to nameit,but its seems the CBS affiliate is running the NBC Affiliates promos….I believe that illegal and so is the SSA they have.Just saying.Correct me if in wrong.

    Kathryn Miller says:

    June 1, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    illegal? Not a chance: it’s free publicity unless they purposely mangle the promos. It’s non sensical, unless they are either being paid, operate jointly, or carry the NBC programming on the same physical digital channel.

      tracey kimball says:

      June 2, 2010 at 10:35 am

      The NBC Affiliate always airs on the CBS affiliate.I find it annoying….The 2 have a JSA….Sorry,I was wrong….

Jeff Groves says:

June 2, 2010 at 10:34 am

We need to have this law apply to ALL Programming, not just Children’s Shows. I have grown fed up with seeing Five Minutes of commercials every Six Minutes. Not to mention age-inappropriate ads, such as ones for “ED” Pills shown at times when Children are watching TV (Including during Children’s Shows Themselves!) People are either recording Programs before watching Them, or have “Abandoned” The Stations and Networks, and are turning to other sources to get their Entertainment and Information Needs. The excessive amount of Advertising, as well as what’s being Advertised, is certainly playing a role in this.


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