FCC Questions PBS on Commercial Funding

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal and CNN, reported on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) inquiry into the sponsorship and advertising practices of PBS.

According to the CNN article, PBS offers ways to show how a sponsorship “can help your corporate message stand out from the clutter of commercial advertising” and also offers tips to sponsors about how to fashion a message.

Consumer advocates have been saying that it is time for Congress to step in and write “stiff rules preventing these kinds of commercial promotions.”

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Wall Street Journal Features Major Article on Growing Corporate Influence on PBS
From ICA News

This long and detailed piece outlines how corporations have all but purchased commercial time on PBS, investing significant effort and money to exploit the maximum commercial impact from “sponsorship” acknowledgements. Headlining the B section of the July 11th edition of the world’s most widely read financial paper, this article, entitled “PBS and Corporate Underwriters: Too Close for Comfort?”, cites the massive corporate spending, “… $221 million last year, up from $175 million a year earlier” as the primary moving factor behind the commercialization of PBS. The article quotes a Congressional spokesperson expressing major concerns over this trend: “We have been increasingly concerned in recent years by TV spots which are in reality nothing more than commercials that are passed off as corporation attributions. We’re not fooled and neither is the public,” says Ken Johnson, a spokesman for Rep. Billy Tauzin, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It’s like being a little bit pregnant. Either you are a public commercial-free station or you’re not.”

The chiropractic profession has seen a blatant and even more troublesome and offensive side of the “broadcast for hire” attitude that seems to permeate PBS. Through a grossly distorted and damaging depiction of the science and practice of chiropractic on a regular feature show, Scientific American Frontiers, the power of money is graphically displayed. This carefully developed negative and demonstrably misleading depiction of chiropractic has been broadcast in an episode entitled “A Different Way to Heal.” ICA finds the negative depiction of non-medical procedures and practices inherently suspect, since the approaches to health supposedly being reviewed stand in direct competition to the company that provided the funding for this segment. We have a right to expect an organization like PBS act in an objective and responsible manner and not lend itself to exploitation in the kind of marketplace manipulation based on lies.

planetc1.com-news @ 11:23 am | Article ID: 1027103010