FCC Cites Noncom for Ad Violation


In case anyone was wondering, a Honda driven so as to inscribe the strokes in a Chinese character is off-limits as an underwriters' credit on noncommercial television if it is accompanied by superlatives.

So concludes the FCC, which has sent a notice of apparent liability and proposed fine of $7,500 to noncommercial KMPT-TV San Francisco for three underwriter credits the commission found violate its policies against advertising on noncommercial stations.

The FCC allows sponsors to identify themselves, but it does not allow price comparisons, superlatives, or calls to action.

The station argued that since cars don't generally drive in the figure of a Chinese character, the spot was OK. The Commission concluded that the use of terms such as “accuracy,” “flexibility,” and “power” make it off limits, rejecting the station's argument that because the adjectives are nontraditional when applied to cars, they are not promotional.

Two other spots ran afoul of the FCC, one for Charles Schwabb and another for and Star Cruises.