FCC Seeks Comment on 'Zevo-3' Challenge

The FCC's Media Bureau is soliciting comment on a
petition by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood for a declaratory
ruling that Nicktoons' upcoming Zevo-3
series--scheduled to debut next month--is a program-length commercial in
violation of FCC ad limits.

CCFC says it is in violation because the show
features characters originally developed by shoe manufacturer Skechers USA
promote the sale of its shoes to kids,
which makes the show a program-length commercial, says CCFC.

The FCC has historically applied its
program-length commercial definition to kids shows that feature ads for a
product within a show featuring a character associated with it, for example, an
ad for GI Joe dolls within a GI Joe cartoon show.

The FCC has given interested parties until
Oct. 22 to file comments and Nov. 8 to file replies.

"[W]e do not believe that the show is a program-length commercial, nor do we agree that its transmission would violate the Children's Television Act or any of the Commission's rules or policies," said Nicktoons in a statement.

John Eggerton

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.