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

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Wrong About Critics, Wrong About Movies, Wrong About Faith
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need to respond. The headline: Film Critics Don't Get Faith Films. This shows no understan

posted 2:36:30pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Announced a New Animated Film for 2016: Moana
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: "Moana," with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements

posted 1:59:28pm Oct. 20, 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.