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ERIC Number: ED359566
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 35
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
From Hot Wheels to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Evolution of the Definition of Program Length Commercials on Children's Television.
Colby, Pamela A.
From 1969 to 1993 the definition of program length commercials has not been consistent. The FCC's first involvement with program length commercials was in 1969 when "Hot Wheels," a cartoon based on Mattel Corporation's Hot Wheels cars, was alleged to be nothing more than a 30 minute commercial. The FCC made no formal ruling but did develop a vague definition of a program length commercial. In 1971, the FCC issued its first Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding commercial content in children's programming. Response was tremendous, and the FCC concluded that broadcasters have a special obligation to serve the unique needs of children. No formal rulings were made by the FCC, who wanted the broadcast industry to regulate itself. A 1978 Notice of Inquiry only restated previous guidelines. In 1983, the FCC wanted to deregulate children's television, while Congress started a major effort to adopt legislation. The "Children's Television Education Act of 1983" was the first action taken by Congress. The ban on program length commercials was officially removed in 1984 and coincided with an increased number of program length commercials. With the passage of the "Children's Television Education Act of 1990" Congress attempted to force the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clarify their regulatory position. Less than 2 years after passage of the "Children's Television Act of 1990," the FCC is disregarding the definitions that it established. (One hundred sixty-four notes are included; 146 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A