Four A's foray

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Advertising trade groups seemed conspicuously silent as nearly every other
industry association weighed in Jan. 3 on the Federal Communications
Commission's sweeping review of media-ownership rules.

But the American Association of Advertising Agencies (Four A's) did help to fund a
skeptical review of FCC studies favoring deregulation filed by the Information
Policy Institute.

The IPI was particularly critical of commission studies that found that consumers
significantly substitute among broadcast, print and other media and that blamed
increased ad rates on economic growth rather than media concentration.

The IPI also called on the agency to slow its pending ownership "regime change."

Four A's is considering filing a reply in the ownership rulemaking next
month, but it hasn't decided whether to back the IPI's hard line.

The ad industry has had a difficult time coming up with a unified stance on
media concentration.

While some ad folks blamed concentration for high rates
in a specific media, others said consolidation created unprecedented opportunity
to drive down costs through package deals with large local
groups.

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