FCC Cites Stations For CW Ad

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Attention CW affiliates: A network advertisement that ran in Xiaolin Showdown in December could get you a wrist-slap from the FCC.

On Friday, the commission admonished Media General's WCBD-TV Charlotte and WNCT-TV Greeneville in North Carolina for airing a program-length commercial. The stations asked not to be sanctioned and pointed out that the violation was a national ad for Cocoa Pebbles that ran in a December 23, 2006 airing of the a CW show that featured "very small" images of characters from Xiaolin Showdown.

The FCC limits ads in children's programming to 10.5 minutes per hour on weekdays and 12.5 on weekends.
According to the FCC, an advertisement in a show that features characters from that particular show--even briefly or very small--turns the commercial into a program-length commercial and thus it becomes a violation of those limits.

The commission said the violation was isolated and did not fine the stations, but instead gave them what amounts to an official black mark in its file. That black mark also covered the WCBD's failure to publicize the existence and location of its children's TV reports, which must be on public file and available for inspection.

The FCC admonished three stations for kids TV violations Friday in a string of such actions over the past several months.

It also admonished WSTR-TV Cincinnati for a 90-second overage of the kids TV advertising caps and a program length commercial for a 2002 airing of a Gameboy E-Reader ad in a Pokemon program. The ad  has gotten the FCC's attention before.

All the violations were volunteered by the stations as part of their license renewal applications.

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