On September 25, 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration announced its approval of limited commercial use of drones for film and TV production. The entertainment industry sees this as a leap in the right direction for competing with international markets where commercial use of drones is growing. Consider the implications of this approval. What other commercial uses might arise? How does this change the advertising and media marketplace? Read our recent client alert to see if sky's the limit.… Continue Reading
Effective September 1, 2014, all advertising commercials, sponsorship messages and promotions broadcast on television stations in Canada must be aired with closed captions for the hearing impaired. This requirement may necessitate that you add closed captioning to commercials previously produced and aired that will be broadcast on or after September 1st.
For a complete explanation of the requirements, please download the Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA) member bulletin.… Continue Reading
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed its decision in ABC v. Aereo, ruling that Aereo's service of providing its subscribers with streaming broadcasts obtained through the company's miniature antennas is illegal. The court ruled that over-the-air broadcasts count as a public performance and that Aereo essentially is no different from cable companies, which are subject to limitations on freely transmitting programming under the Copyright Act.… Continue Reading
Our firm's LSHI Group reported on an announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week, asking for public input on a proposed research study concerning whether the risks presented in direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug ads should be limited solely to risks that are considered "serious and actionable." While some say the current risk statements found in TV ads are too long and result in, among other things, reduced consumer comprehension, others believe the DTC ads do not provide enough risk information. The deadline for feedback is April 21, 2014. For more information, read the recent post on the Health Industry Washington Watch blog:
http://www.healthindustrywashingtonwatch.com/2014/02/articles/regulatory-developments/fda-developments/coming-to-a-tv-near-you-fda-seeks-public-input-on-limiting-risks-presented-in-directtoconsumer-television-ads/… Continue Reading
Television broadcasters have long been able to track their shows' popularity. But a new bill introduced in Congress last week aims to regulate technology that would go even farther by using actual cameras and microphones on TV set-top boxes or DVRs to record viewers' reactions to advertisements.
On June 13, the We Are Watching You Act (H.R. 2356) was introduced by Representatives Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) and Michael Capuano (D-Mass.). That bill, if enacted, would require companies to obtain viewer consent before using surveillance devices embedded in set-top boxes and DVRs to track people's moods and reactions. The cameras and microphones would send cable companies data on the audience's activities, including comments, facial expressions, food consumption, and general moods, as well as their age and gender. According to Congressman Capuano, such technology is not yet in use--last year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected one company's patent application for such a system, and other companies have also reportedly explored similar technology. But the two lawmakers hope to put regulations in place preemptively, informing consumers and allowing them to opt out of such surveillance should it become a reality. Said Congressman Capuano, "[t]his may sound preposterous, but it is neither a joke nor an exaggeration. These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy."… Continue Reading
Earlier this year, the GRP Pilot, testing a new way actors who perform in television commercials are paid, got underway. More than 2,000 commercials are being tested to see if a GRP (ratings)-based compensation model will work. The results of the Pilot will be the centerpiece of negotiations with the unions that are scheduled to … Continue Reading
France’s broadcast authority has forbidden French channels from promoting television shows aimed at children under 3 years old. In addition, cable operators that air foreign channels with programming for babies are required to broadcast warnings stating: “Watching television can slow the development of children under 3, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them.” … Continue Reading