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NCTA Pushes for Good Faith Credit for Ad Disclosure Mistakes

With the presidential election only seven months away, though an unprecedented one given the pandemic. Cable operators continue to press the FCC to cut them some slack when it comes to unintentional errors in complying with new political advertising disclosures guidance. 

Executives from the NCTA-The Internet & Television Association last week were urging some top FCC staffers to further clarify the FCC's recent clarification of political advertising rules to make clear that they are not subject to liability for mistakes while making good faith efforts to comply with the obligations. 

The FCC clarified its rules last October as part of a dozen campaign ad disclosure complaints against TV stations. The rules also apply to political ads on cable.

Related: ACA Backs Broadcaster Political Ad Petition 

NCTA wants the FCC to defer to those good faith efforts, as well as to "clarify" that the FCC interpretations apply only to non-candidate political ads--from PACS and unions and the like--rather than candidate ads. 

Cable operators are on the same page with broadcasters when it comes to seeking more clarity on the clarification. 

In comments filed last December, NCTA said it agreed with the National Association of Broadcasters that the FCC "imposed an overly strict standard that fails to account for the frenetic pace of political advertising sales during the heat of an election," adding: [I]t would be overly burdensome to demand perfect adherence to such strict standards." 

The National Association of Broadcasters joined with Hearst Television, Graham Media Group, Nexstar, Fox, Tegna and Scripps, to ask the FCC to narrow its definition of non-candidate ads.