Canal seeks political ad ruling


Political AdvertisingA political media company wants to make sure its clients not only get lowest unit rates when they buy advertising during the pre-election windows, but also are protected from being pre-empted.

Canal Partners Media was formed via the merger of LUC Media and Abar Hutton, and provides traditional and digital advertising services to the political community.

The FCC described the ruling Canal seeks:

“Canal Partners Media, LLC (“Canal Partners Media”) has filed a Petition1 requesting that the Commission issue a declaratory ruling ‘stating that broadcast stations’ use of the Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) method to preempt political candidates’ advertisements in favor of commercial advertisers’ spots purchased earlier in time violates Section 315(b) of the Communications Act’ of 1934, as amended. The Petition further requests ‘that if broadcast stations are using LIFO as a method to determine preemption priorities, they must treat political candidates as being the First-In advertiser regardless of when the candidate purchased its airtime in order to be in compliance with Section 315(b) of the Act. Section 315(b) of the Act, among other things, requires that, during the 45 days prior to a primary and the 60 days prior to a general election, a station shall not charge a candidate more than the lowest unit charge of the station for the same class and amount of time for the same period. Section 73.1942 of the Commission’s Rules implements this provision of the Act and states, in part, that ‘[a] candidate shall be charged no more per unit than the station charges its most favored commercial advertiser for the same classes and amounts of time for the same time period’ and that “[a]ny station practices offered to commercial advertisers that enhance the value of advertising spots [including preemption priorities] must be disclosed and made available to candidates on equal terms.’”

The FCC would like your opinion. Comments are being accepted through 3/2/15, with reply comments due 3/17/15.