The FCC’s window for public comment on the issue of sponsorship identification regulations with regard to embedded advertising has been opened a little bit wider. The probe into product placement and other non-spot techniques for promoting goods and services has raised numerous complex issues, some with constitutional implications, and both the Writers Guild of American and watchdog Commercial Alert would like 30 extra days to deal with them. The FCC, without much comment, agreed, and set a new due date of 11/21/08.
RBR/TVBR observation: A consortium of media providers have argued that the rules governing these types of advertisements have long been on the books. The only difference between now and long ago, in fact, is that they have become more popular of late. That doesn’t mean the rules aren’t working or that there is anything sinister about the practice. Broadcasters should make sure they are in fact following the rules, and regulators should not mindlessly combat new advertising models which are the key to keeping broadcast content available free of charge.