Broadcast and Cable Television: Requirements for Identifying Sponsored Programming Should Be Clarified

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Sponsorship identification statutes and regulations, overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), require broadcasters to identify commercial content--usually an advertisement, an embedded advertisement, or a video news release--that has been broadcast in exchange for payment or other consideration. A written or verbal sponsorship announcement must be made at least once during any sponsored commercial content except when the sponsor is obvious. For content considered political or that discusses a controversial issue, broadcasters must follow all requirements for commercial content and additional requirements, such as identifying officials ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 31, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Sponsorship identification statutes and regulations, overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), require broadcasters to identify commercial content--usually an advertisement, an embedded advertisement, or a video news release--that has been broadcast in exchange for payment or other consideration. A written or verbal sponsorship announcement must be made at least once during any sponsored commercial content except when the sponsor is obvious. For content considered political or that discusses a controversial issue, broadcasters must follow all requirements for commercial content and additional requirements, such as identifying officials associated with the entity paying for an advertisement. In addition, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces federal election law that requires all political communications for a federal election, including television and radio advertisements, to include a disclaimer statement. FEC also oversees requirements to report campaign funding and expenditures, including funding for political advertising. FCC has guidance that helps broadcasters determine when a sponsorship announcement is needed, such as when a deejay receives a payment for airing specific content. While broadcasters consider this guidance useful, it addresses older technology that in some cases is no longer used. Furthermore, some broadcasters indicated that it would be helpful for FCC to clarify how the guidance applies in some situations, such as when a video news release or product is used during programming."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 31, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Broadcast and Cable Television: Requirements for Identifying Sponsored Programming Should Be Clarified, report, January 31, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302463/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.