Industry Groups Urge FCC To Protect Economic Foundation Provided for Media by Advertising

Industry Groups Urge FCC To Protect Economic Foundation Provided for Media by Advertising

Washington, D.C.  - The ANA (Association of National Advertisers) and a broad coalition of advertising and media companies and associations have urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to recognize and protect the key economic foundation that advertising provides to media and our nation's citizens. The industry comments were filed on March 26 in response to an FCC Notice of Inquiry (NOI) entitled, "Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape."

"The NOI raises a number of very serious questions about the impact of advertising and media on children," said ANA Executive Vice President Dan Jaffe.  "Unfortunately, it has given our critics the opportunity to develop a ‘wish list' of ads and content in various media that they would like to see blocked or eliminated. In the current economy, the last thing the FCC should consider is a speculative regulatory regime that would threaten the economic foundation that advertising provides to a wide array of media choices."

In addition to ANA, the coalition of National Media and Advertisers includes: the American Advertising Federation; the 4A's; CBS Corporation; the Direct Marketing Association; Discovery Communications, Inc.; Fox Entertainment Group; the Grocery Manufacturers Association; the Illinois Broadcasters Association; Interactive Advertising Bureau; Maine Association of Broadcasters; NBC Universal, Inc.; Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters; the Promotion Marketing Association; Texas Association of Broadcasters; Viacom, Inc.; the Walt Disney Company; and the Washington State Association of Broadcasters.

The industry comments were written by First Amendment expert Robert Corn-Revere, a partner with the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP.

Jaffe also stated, "We agree that children should be protected from inappropriate content, but that goal must not dictate overall media policy. Unfortunately, the tone of the NOI presumes that none of the current marketplace tools, from software programs to ratings systems, are adequate or effective. We reject that premise. Also, some of the proposals discussed in the NOI go far beyond the legal authority of the FCC and raise very serious First Amendment concerns."

The industry comments argue that the number and diversity of parental control options are a strength of the current environment, not a "problem" to be regulated. "This flexibility allows parents to tailor empowerment technology to their own values and needs and to the age and maturity of their children, as opposed to a ‘one size fits all' approach," Jaffe said.

Jaffe concluded, "Even in good times, the FCC has always recognized the need to not undermine advertiser support for the media it regulates. In today's environment, where media companies are already buffeted by the downturn in the economy, some of the proposals discussed in the NOI would be a recipe for disaster. We urge the FCC to reject these bad ideas."

The industry comments are available at /advocacy/getfile/15664

About the ANA
Founded in 1910, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) leads the marketing community by providing its members with insights, collaboration, and advocacy. ANA's membership includes 350+ companies with 9,000 brands that collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs, and advance, promote, and protect all advertisers and marketers.

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Press Contacts:
Lesley Neadel
CooperKatz & Co. for the ANA                      
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Megan Burke
CooperKatz & Co. for the ANA
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