McDowell: More Work Needed On No-Urban Dictates

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell says the ad industry needs to continue to work on the issue of no-urban/Spanish dictates.

In a speech to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters Thursday, the commissioner pointed to an incident last month involving a media buyer's "no urban" pitch for a BMW campaign, saying it showed that "there's no dispute about the existence of the problem."

As part of its 2007 Diversity Order, the FCC adopted new rules banning broadcasters from accepting ad campaigns that stipulate excluding urban/Spanish media buys.

The FCC's enforcement is rather roundabout, he conceded, since it does not have authority over media buyers and advertisers. But McDowell said he had talked with ad executives "on Madison Avenue and elsewhere" about the problem, and monitoring the industry's efforts to deal with it.

"Although the FCC has no direct legal power over the advertising industry, I am quite willing to help educate Madison Avenue about the value of picking up the pace to eradicate these practices," he said. "Please just tell me when and where."

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.