Archive for March, 2014

Truth in Advertising

Author: admin

Advertising watchdog will launch its first national advertising campaign early next week aiming to get consumers to report false advertising and marketing.

Using humor to gain support, the spot features people uttering the kind of truths they normally wouldn’t dare say out loud, such as a man telling a woman her tush looks too big or a driver nonchalantly admitting to an officer that he’s been driving 20 miles over the speed limit. Folks are seen repeatedly singing “The truth’s not always easy…” with a closing message that drives home the point: “But in advertising, it’s the law.”

They will run in display, digital, and video forms in major newspapers including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, in addition to Google ads and social-media sites including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


Author: admin

Advocates of the free and open Internet, take note. The United States will begin a process to relinquish its administrative control over of the Internet by September 2015, federal officials said late this afternoon.

Since the Internet was founded, the U.S. has managed the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which oversees the catalog of unique IP addresses that makes the Internet possible.

Under U.S. control, the Internet to date has thrived as a free and open marketplace for the world. But in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations of U.S. spying, foreign countries, even those that have been historical allies, have lost trust in the U.S.


Author: admin

Fox late Friday gave fans of its Tuesday night comedies something to cheer about, announcing it has picked up the gloriously goofy Golden Globe Award-winning ensemble Brooklyn Nine-Nine for a second season, while booking return engagements for veteran sitcoms New Girl and The Mindy Project.

The network did not indicate exactly how many episodes of each series it has ordered, saying only that they all would be back on the schedule in the 2014-15 broadcast TV season.

Also getting a new lease on life is the sophomore thriller The Following.

While none of the four shows is exactly a ratings giant, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly characterized them as “core assets within our…portfolio of content,” adding that the programs are “some of the best and most acclaimed” on TV.

Fox cautioned that announcements on other pickups have yet to be made, but that will be of little solace to the cast of its 8 p.m. sitcom, Dads. Over the course of its 18-episode run, Seth MacFarlane’s live-action comedy averaged just 3.51 million live-plus-same-day viewers and a 1.4 in the adults 18-49 demo.

A newcomer with a far better shot at a renewal is J.J. Abrams’ futuristic cop show, Almost Human. Averaging 6.23 million viewers and a 1.9 in the dollar demo, Human may be worth risking another 13-episode arc.

Fellow freshman Sleepy Hollow was picked up for a second season on Oct. 3, just three weeks after it premiered. It joins already-renewed Fox series Glee, Bones, Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons on the safe list.

If nothing else, picking up New Girl and Mindy would seem to suggest that Fox is going to take at least one last crack at a two-hour Tuesday comedy block. Still, space is going to be tight, as Fox already has commitments going forward with the likes of John Mulaney, Tina Fey and Will Forte.


Author: admin

Broadcasters are girding for a knock-down drag-out fight over a parade of horribles that might be added to the reauthorization of a little-known cable law commonly known as “Stela.” The add-ons currently being negotiated between House GOP members on the commerce committee could change the rules of retransmission consent negotiations and result in broadcasters being knocked off basic cable tiers.

Stela—the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act—allows satellite operators Dish and DirecTV to carry network affiliate stations from outside subscribers’ markets when subscribers in the market can’t pick up the local signals over-the-air. The law also grants the Federal Communications Commission authority to make sure that retransmission consent deals are negotiated in good faith. For retrans reform advocates, Stela presented the perfect opportunity to change the law.

One provision being bandied about would allow cable and satellite services systems to treat broadcast stations like any other cable channel and place them in any tier the cable company wants. Broadcasters would have to negotiate placement in the basic tier, which would change the dynamic of retransmission consent. Another provision would prohibit two stations with some sales and programming functions from coordinating retransmission negotiations.

If the add-ons make it into the bill, which could be drafted and proposed as early as Monday, it will represent a stunning policy reversal for Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), a former broadcaster and chairman of the subcommittee on communications and technology, which is holding a hearing on Stela next Wednesday. As recently as December, Walden consistently held that he favored a clean reauthorization of Stela, which is due to expire at the end of this year. He had always maintained that issues such as retransmission consent were more appropriately addressed in a rewrite of the communications act.

But apparently, political forces led by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) behind the scenes are pulling Walden in a different direction.

Once broadcasters, in town already for the National Association of Broadcasters annual government confab, got wind of the discussions, they started storming the legislative gates.

“NAB will strenuously oppose this bill,” said Dennis Wharton, evp of the National Association of Broadcasters. “Broadcasters from all over the country are asking us how a Stela bill that was supposed to be ‘clean’ turned into a boondoggle for big cable.”

In expressing “outrage” over the possible add-ons,, a coalition of local broadcasters and network TV affiliate associations, played the emergency card. “Forcing the most popular stations off this basic lifeline cable tier could deprive customers of local news, emergency information, and severe weather warnings that are only provided by broadcasters,” said spokesperson Robert Kenny. “Only in Washington would the word ‘reform’ be associated with a proposal that would restrict consumer access to vital local TV channels and result in more price gouging by pay-TV providers.”

Small independent stations have the most lose because they lack the programming clout of the big network affiliates. Upon hearing that the must-carry provision could go away, 170 stations formed the Voices for TV Choices coalition. About 60 of the coalition are Ion stations.

“‘Homeland’ and ‘House of Cards’ may be the programs that make national news, but the membership of Voices for TV Choices is evidence that there is also a large audience for an array of targeted and local programming, including a multiplicity of children’s educational programming; religious and Christian youth programming; Vietnamese, Armenian, Korean, Japanese and Cambodian programming; local news and sports; Latino, Spanish-language and African-American religious and general interest programming; movie and lifestyle channels, and more. No one on the committee would confirm the Stela add-ons. As of Friday, nothing had been finalized. GOP members shouldn’t have been surprised by the backlash, but they were. They are slated to meet Monday.