Alert: FCC Comments on CCFC Petition

To:AAF Members
From:Clark Rector, Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
Re:FCC Comments

The Federal Communications Commission has been asked to make a major – and harmful – change to its policies regarding the use of fictional characters in children’s programming and commercial matter.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has filed a petition with the FCC seeking to block a new cartoon on the Nicktoons cable network claiming the show, Zevo-3, is a program length commercial. The show is based on characters that were developed for comics distributed with Skechers shoes, although the shoes play no role in the television show.

The Commission has established settled and effective policy in this area insuring a separation between programmatic and commercial content, while allowing the use of characters in commercial material. A finding in favor of the CCFC would reverse this policy and establish an extremely dangerous and harmful precedent. Countless fictional characters over many years have and do appear in television shows (and books and movies) as well as advertising. Should the CCFC prevail they would all be at risk.

Attached are both the initial and reply comments that the AAF has filed with the Commission that detail the legal and precedential reasons the CCFC petition should be dismissed. We will keep you apprised of further developments. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.