Commlaw - Mass Media

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blinks -- Watch Out for Sponsorship ID Issues

Recently, at least one major radio group has toyed with the idea of one-second or three-second commercial radio availabilities which they call "Blinks".

With a one-second or three-second radio ad, however, watch out for compliance with the FCC's sponsorship ID rules (Section 73.1212 of the Commission's rules). A valid sponsorship ID in a commercial announcement is presumed as long as a reasonable listener can discern who is the actual sponsor. Thus, a Campbell's Soup ad likely needs no additional sponsorship ID, while a Budweiser ad paid for by a local bottler does, as it is the local bottler who is the sponsor, not Budweiser.

In a "blink", if the sponsor's name is stated, then no problem. If not, and it is in the nature of a teaser ad, then there is a sponsorship ID problem. Just something to watch out for as radio stations adopt innovative new ways of selling radio time.

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