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Ethical Standards for Media. Max Griffith. FCC-Rules on Candidate Appearance & Advertising. A station’s license may be revoked if they don’t allow reasonable access for candidates running in a Federal election

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FCC-Rules on Candidate Appearance & Advertising

  • A station’s license may be revoked if they don’t allow reasonable access for candidates running in a Federal election

  • If one candidate is allowed use of station, the same uses must be afforded to the opponents of that candidate

  • News broadcasts, news interviews, news documentaries and on-the-spot coverage do not count as a usage of the station by a candidate


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FCC con’t

  • A station must keep a record of all contact with a candidate, even if they rejected the candidate’s proposal for broadcast time

  • A station is not required to give broadcast time to a candidate, but if they do so, they must offer the exact same opportunity to the other candidates

  • For an advertising spot, the candidate can’t be charged more than other commercial advertisers for an ad of the same duration and time slot


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FCC con’t

  • Any sort of discount, bonus-spot or any sort of additional privilege usually given to commercial advertisers must also be given to political candidates

  • Again, if the station gives a candidate advertising time, the same opportunities must be given to their opponents

  • These rules apply whether the station is cable, satellite or a public station


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Standards and Practices

  • Name given to the department of a television that keeps tabs on commercial advertising content and well as any other non-news content

  • They review to see if it adheres to legal, policy, factual and community standards

  • Today, the department mainly serves to protect the network from any content that could do them any damage, the rest is left up to the viewers, since the stations think the viewers are already accepting of what’s out there


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Mass Media Law

  • The government may regulate or prohibit advertising (1) that promotes an unlawful activity or (2) that is misleading or untruthful. The state may also regulate truthful advertising for lawful activities and goods if it can prove (1) that there is a substantial state interest to justify the regulation, (2) that such regulation directly advances this state interest, and (3) that there is a "reasonable fit" between the state interest being asserted and the governmental regulation.


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Mass Media Law-Federal Trade Commission

  • The Federal Trade Commission has the power to regulate virtually all advertising that is deceptive or misleading. To be deceptive an advertisement must contain a representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer; the advertisement or practice must be considered from the perspective of a reasonable consumer; and the representation, omission or practice must be material. The FTC has many remedies to regulate deceptive or untruthful advertising:

  • Guides or advisory opinions that attempt to outline in advance what advertisers may say about a product

  • Voluntary agreements by advertisers to terminate a deceptive advertisement

  • Consent agreements or consent orders signed by advertisers promising to terminate a deceptive advertisement

  • Litigated orders to advertisers to terminate a particular advertising claim, failure to comply with which can result in severe penalty

  • Substantiation of advertisements, in which the advertiser must prove all claims made in an advertisement

  • Corrective advertising, in which an advertiser must admit in future advertisements that past advertisements have been incorrect

  • Injunctive power to immediately halt advertising campaigns that could cause harm to consumers

  • Trade regulation rules that can be issued to regulate advertising throughout an entire industry


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Self-Regulation

  • Arguments for:

  • The industry has more knowledge of the subject matter

  • They are more flexible (can change the rules when needed), can also be modified for each industry

  • More incentives to adhere to rules made by peers instead of an agency

  • Less costly because the industry is doing it, not the government, although some government involvement would me implemented


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Self-Regulation con’t

  • Arguments against:

  • Although the industry may have more knowledge, they may use that knowledge to maximize profits

  • The industry would tailor the rules to their business plan

  • The industry may be unwilling to commit resources to vigorous self-regulation

  • It would be hard for viewer to tell if the industry is adhering to their own rules, basically accountability


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Sources

  • http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/S/htmlS/standardsand/standardsand.htm

  • http://www.fcc.gov/mb/policy/political/candrule.htm

  • http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072492171/

  • www.law.indiana.edu/fclj/pubs/v51/no3/CAMMAC15.PDF