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: Thunder Levin of "Sharknado" and "Sharknado 2"
One of the highlights of Comic-Con was the chance to catch up with Thunder Levin, screenwriter of the sensation, "Sharknado" and the sequel, "Sharknado 2," which premieres tonight on Syfy.  The original was remarkable for its over-the-top storyline and even more for the Twitter-nado it inspired.  

posted 7:37:17am Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Contest Winner -- "Earth to Echo's" GoPro Camera
Thanks to all who entered!  This contest had far more entries than any other I've ever run.  Congratulations to the lucky winner! WINNER OF THE GOPRO CAMERA: Susan D. Burkburnett, TX  

posted 11:54:55pm Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Intuition -- A Short Film from Danielle Lurie
I love this short film from Danielle Lurie about a young woman who needs to learn to listen to her heart, with a wonderful performance by Montse Muñoz. [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/101953117[/vimeo]

posted 10:09:01am Jul. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Joseph Nasser of "Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway"
Reserve Police Officer Joseph Nasser produced Amber Alert: Terror on the Highway to help raise awareness of the Amber Alert system. It stars Tom Berenger as a man on the edge, making a dead rush for Mexico and kidnapping two young girls along the way. He is hotly pursued by police chief Martha Geig

posted 8:00:33am Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

"Guardian of the Galaxy's" Awesome Mixtape
One of the many pleasures of "Guardians of the Galaxy," opening this week, is the soundtrack featuring some 70's classics from an "Awesome Mixtape" played by Peter "Star Lord" Quill (Chris Pratt).  Here are some of the highlights. "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede [youtube]http://www.youtub

posted 8:00:21am Jul. 27, 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.