Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Say No to Informercials Masquerading as Programs for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

The FCC has issued a call for public comment on the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s petition that the upcoming Nicktoons children’s television show Zevo-3 violates the public interest. It is the first children’s show to feature commercial spokescharacters; the stars are characters whose only previous existence was in commercials for Skechers shoes. CFCC believes the show violates the Children’s Television Act and FCC policies that limit the amount and kind of advertising in children’s television programs. Comments must be filed by October 18.
Zevo-3, produced by Skechers (the footwear giant) is scheduled to begin airing on Nicktoons on October 11. The animated series stars superheroes named Kewl Breeze, Elastika, and Z-Strap and a villain named Dr. Stankfoot who, until now, have only been used in advertisements to promote specific lines of Skechers shoes. The characters were originally created by Skechers for comic books distributed in shoe boxes and have also appeared in numerous Skechers’ television ads. Since the characters themselves have always only been ads, CFCC says that the show’s broadcast will violate the time limits for commercial matter in kids’ TV shows (12 minutes per hour on weekdays) and FCC policies that call for strict separation of commercial matter and programming.
Children are not clear on the difference between programming and advertising, and blurring the line further by putting advertising characters into programs turns them into an infomercial. Zevo-3 is the first children’s program based on advertising logos. Its main characters, Elastika, Kewl Breeze, Z-Strap and the evil Dr. Stankfoot have only appeared in advertisements for Skechers shoes. Zevo-3 violates policies designed to protect children from overcommercialization on television such as the limits on commercial matter (12 minutes per hour on weekdays) and clear separation between commercial matter and programming. It escalates commercialism in children’s media and will open the floodgates for a slew of children’s programming based on spokescharacters such as Ronald McDonald, The Burger King, and Tony the Tiger. The CCFC’s petition is asking the Commission to uphold the few laws and rules that exist to protect children–not asking the FCC to create new rules.
This isn’t the first time a corporation has tried this: In 1992, Fox planned to air a show based on Chester Cheetah, the Cheetos spokescharacter. However, when advocates petitioned the FCC, the show was pulled. In the intervening eighteen years, there has been no development of children’s television programming based on advertising spokescharacters – until now. Zevo-3 might be the first, but unless it’s stopped it won’t be the last. Public opinion will matter, and it’s essential that the advocacy, public health, and education communities weigh in on behalf of children. That’s why the FCC needs to hear from parents, teachers, and other concerned adults.
The deadline for comments in October 18 and it does not need to be more than a single sentence: I support the CCFC’s efforts to enforce the existing FCC regulations and policies by protecting children from commercials masquerading as programming in Zevo-3. Be sure to refer to #10-190.
If you are filing your comment as an attachment (Word or .pdf), you can upload your submission.
Or, type or cut and paste a brief comment into the FCC’s express form.
CCFC’s petition and the supplemental material provide more background.



  • http://www.yahoo.com/ Kelenna

    You?ve got it in one. Culodn?t have put it better.

Previous Posts

Interview: Daniel Schechter, Writer/Director of "Life of Crime"
Newcomer Daniel Schechter, who wrote one of my favorite neglected gems, The Big Bad Swim, worked with an all-star cast in "Life of Crime," which he adapted from The Switch by Elmore Leonard and directed.  It is set in 1970's Detroit and it is the story of a woman played by Jennifer Aniston who i

posted 3:59:35pm Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

The November Man
Pierce Brosnan knows what it is like to play a spy in a big-budget, glamorous, blockbuster. He was the most urbane of Bonds in four movies. He knows what it is to play a seedier spy in a prestige, mildly meta movie, the 2001 film "The Tailor of Panama" (with Daniel Radcliffe in a pre-Potter role). S

posted 10:57:58am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Thunder and the House of Magic
"Thunder and the House of Magic" opens September 5, 2014. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6VKG3lZEIg[/youtube]

posted 8:00:02am Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Anatomy of Every Movie Ever
This is hilarious and, I have to say, accurate.  Thank you, John Atkinson of Wrong Hands!

posted 3:59:37pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Cozi Zuehlsdorff's New Song for "Dolphin Tale 2" -- "Brave Souls"
I'm really looking forward to "Dolphin Tale 2," even more so after seeing this music video by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, the young actress who reprises her role as Hazel from the original film. Cozi’s song, which she wrote and performs herself, is called “Brave Souls” and in this video she explains how

posted 12:23:08pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.