The FCC has levied fines against two stations for not properly disclosing the corporate involvement of news segments that aired in 2006.
Last week the FCC issued $4,000 fines against KMSP, a Fox O&O in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and WMGM, an NBC-affiliate in South Jersey, for “apparent willful violation of section 317 of the Communications Act,” which requires stations to air a sponsorship identification announcement when broadcasting a segment that has been aided or funded by a sponsor.
The offending segments used footage taken from video news releases (VNRs) and didn’t disclose this fact or offer footage of competing brands.
In the case of WMGM, the station aired footage taken from a Zicam VNR during a health segment about using zinc-based medicine (such as Zicam) to fight the common cold. The segment included shots of Zicam as well as a doctor’s recommendation to use it, while not offering coverage of competing brands. Read more