December 16, 2005
Advertising and Television for Children

In two weeks, new FCC restrictions on advertising aimed at children were to take effect. However, AdAge reports today that broadcasters, marketers, and media companies have reached an agreement that modifies some of the restrictions.

From the article: "As originally adopted, the FCC's new children's advertising rule would have forced broadcasters to start counting program promotions in shows aimed at children under 13 against commercial limits of 12 minutes per hour on weekdays and 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends, essentially reducing available ad time. In addition, media companies would have been banned from showing Web addresses linking to pages in which program characters sold products. Finally, the rule would have limited broadcasters' ability to pre-empt children's programming. Broadcasters are required to provide three hours of children's programming a week."

The new agreement introduces some key exceptions, among which are:

  • Broadcasters can run program promotions in children's shows without counting against commercial time - if the promotions are for other children's shows
  • Program characters can sell products on websites as long as those individual pages are not mentioned during the television show