The Federal Communications Commission yesterday announced four more fines for video news releases (VNRs) aired without disclosure. The fines totaling $16,000 have been levied against the Comcast cable company.
The FCC faults the VNRs for their promotional content, saying it goes far beyond the acceptable "fleeting or transient references to products or brand names." The VNRs named in the fine include: General Mills "Don't Be a Couch Potato" VNR promoting Wheaties brand cereal; an Allstate VNR promoting life insurance; General Mills "Bisquick 75th Anniversary" VNR; and a VNR by Trend Micro Software promoting their computer security software.
Just last week the commission proposed a $4,000 fine for the use of footage from a sleep-aid VNR on a Comcast news channel. It was the Commission's first-ever fine for violating the sponsorship-identification rules.
John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Media and PR Industry watchdog group, the Center for Media & Democracy (CMD), just might be a modern-day David. And with one stone, he just may have delivered a fatal blow against an industry. In response to a joint complaint by the CMD and the Free Press, the FCC has levied the first ever fine for "fake news." All things considered... in PR?!, THAT'S HUGE!
Specifically, the FCC is fining Comcast for the use of a video news release (VNR) without disclosure. A video news release is a popular PR tactic. A sponsored video sets out to mimic actual news reports and is offered to broadcasting stations for free. In this instance, the cable company had aired a pitch for a sleep aid without telling viewers that the spot was financed by the maker of the product.
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
Kathleen Durazo about A Measly $2.8 Million Goes Missing, Lawsuit Results Fri, Jul 31, 10:58:34 AM Ray Durazo (the founder) sold the company to Dan in 1999. He was not involved in any of this. He (and I) found out about the lawsuit in the LA Times. In addition to embezzling this m [...]