Advertisers, Stations Call for Nixing Notaries

Notary publics won't want to hear this, but advertisers, their media buyers, and the stations they buy time from are in agreement that invoices should no longer have to be notarized.

The call for nixing the notaries came collectively from the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Association of National Advertisers, the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association (BCFM) and the Television Bureau of Advertising. It is part of their broader push for e-billing and e-ordering of TV time.

TV stations have historically had to submit notarized copies of their invoices to media buyers, but that dates to a time when stations were smaller and general managers had "personal knowledge and responsibility for the contents of the invoices," the groups said. Even then, apparently, the official seal had its limits.

According to a study by BCFM subsidiary the Broadcast Cable Credit Association, "notarization does not contribute to the validity or legality of the document," but rather only confirms the authorization of the signature rather than the contents of the invoices.

In any case, the groups want to spur the transition to paperless e-business, which could make notaries the firemen on the diesel engine of TV's e-commerce, or something like that.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.