FCC to Examine Media Commercialization
Citing video news releases, product placement and interactive television aimed at children, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has asked the FCC to expand its investigation into product placement disclosure and strengthen guidelines. As reported in As Age, Adelstein told the Media Institute, "People out there are frustrated by what they see as fake news and relentless marketing. The use of covert commercial pitches is penetrating deeper and deeper into our media."
While our normal pithiness calls for us to poke fun at government agencies creating rules that assume people are stupid and can't figure things out for themselves, we, believe it or not, feel some control is warranted. Advertising, because of people's increased ability to ignore it, is getting desperate. very desperate. A roadblock buy once meant buying every spot on every network during a single time period or plastering posters over an entire subway station. It now means, literally, creating an advertising barrier so intense, so pervasive one would have to leave the solar system to avoid an ad. It's reached the point on insanity as marketers, who are not entirely at fault since they are faced with intense media fragmentation and consumer control over media, grasp for any and all possible means to get their message in front of potential customers.
While inviting the government into things is not always the best solution, something, anything is needed to guide the advertising beast as it relentlessly seeks eyeballs with cash.