Broadcasters are limited to a certain amount of advertising time when children’s programming is being aired, and none of the characters in the programming may be in any of the advertising. Two stations found out what happens when a character does show up in an ad.
What happens is an $8K fine.
The idea is that children have a difficult enough time telling advertising apart from programming, without main characters or other elements appearing in both. When this violation occurs, the entire program is considered to be an advertisement.
Allbritton’s ABC KATV-TV Little Rock AR was one of the stations. It was airing the television program “Doug” when ads for a movie version of “Doug” that came from the network inadvertently aired.
University Broadcasting’s indy KGEB-TV Tulsa OK was one of the other. In its case, on three occasions a tape of the program and a toy reminiscent of one of the characters was offered for sale in ads broadcast during the program.
KATV was hit up for the full $8K. KGEB received a $1.6K reduction to $6.4K in recognition of an overall record of compliance with FCC rules and regs.