FCC Rules on More Kids Ad Overages


In what has become almost a daily occurence, the FCC has acted on three more cases of TV stations' exceeding the ad limits in kids TV programming.

The FCC limits ads in kids shows to 10.5 minutes per hour on the weekends and 12 minutes per hour during the week, and counts as a program-length commercial any kids show that contains an ad featuring a character in the show.

In the case of WTVZ Norfolk, Va., the FCC admonished the station--an official reprimand--for four instances, including one of 90 seconds and another a program-length commercial.

While the station said that the program-length ad stemmed from a national ad placed in its programming by The WB--a 2002 commercial for the Gameboy Advance E-Reader airing in its Pokemon program--the FCC said it was still the station's responsibility.

The FCC found that two brief overages by WFMY Youngstown, Ohio, and Hearst-Argyle's KCCI Des Moines--15 seconds and 34 seconds, respectively--were minimal and did not rise to the level of admonishment, which itself is one step short of a proposed fine.

All three stations volunteered the overage information as part of their license-renewal applications.

The renewals have not been granted yet, but in the latter two cases the overages have no impact, and in case of admonishment, should not affect it either if the FCC's precedent of renewals of admonished stations holds.