Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein wants the FCC to require "clear and prominent" disclosure of of paid content on TV, including product placements, paid endorsements, and video news releases.
Adelstein has begun stumping for a crackdown on covert commercialism, which he calls a pernicious symptom of consolidation. He said he had nothing against plugs or endorsements, per se, so long as they were clearly labeled as such.
He called for the tighter rules in a speech to The Media Institute in Washington Wednesday, saying:
"A disclosure that appears on screen for a split second during the credits in small type that no one could possibly read without pausing their DVR-- and pulling out a magnifying glass-could not possibly qualify."
He pointed out that though the FCC has rules requiring disclosure of paid content, the rules "do not clearly spell out the prominence of the disclosure required."
He suggested the FCC take a page from the Federal Trade Commission and require "clear and prominent" disclosures and clearly explain what that means.
Adelstein delivered a similar anti-commmercialism message to media reformers at a Free Press conference in St. Louis May 14, but said he wanted to deliver it to Washington directly as well.