FCC Raps Station Knuckles Over Ads

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The Federal Communications Commission Friday admonished two Washington, D.C., TV stations for violating ad limits during children’s shows. The FCC actions are just reprimands, and no fines will be levied.

Fox-owned UPN affiliate WDCA was criticized for two instances in 2002 when the station aired commercials for cereal containing the animated character Buzz Lightyear during the program of the same name. That’s what the FCC calls a “program-length commercial” and forbids because kids won’t necessarily differentiate between the ad and show.

Tribune-owned WBDC was similarly criticized for two violations in 1999 and 2004, which together totaled 1 minute 15 seconds in overages.

WBDC explained that the overages were contained in programming supplied by the WB Network. In both stations’ cases the FCC said fines weren’t necessary because they were isolated incidents.

The FCC has caps advertising during programming targeted to kids at 10-and-a-half minutes on weekends and 12 minutes on weekdays.