New York TV station faces fine for Pokémon ad
New York station WPIX, and affiliate of the CW Television Network, is facing a $15,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for breaking rules regarding the limit of advertising during children's programming. Five of the eight violations involved a commercial for Pokémon e-Reader cards.
According to the FCC, a character in a kids show appearing in a commercial run during the show itself turns the entire program into an advertisement. The violations are in accordance with the FCC's limit on the number of advertisements during kids shows. Kids shows may have no more than 12 minutes of ads per hour weekdays, 10.5 during weekends. An average kids show runs 22 minutes, so when the entire show is turned into an advertisement because of the inclusion of a related commercial, the FCC can fine for each minute over the limit.
According to WPIX, the unidentified character in the commercial appeared for less than a second, and the Pokémon logo was not fully displayed.
In response, the FCC said, "We believe that, in the context of the cognitive abilities of young children, there is the potential for confusion between the GameBoy commercial and the Pokémon program regardless whether any Pokémon character is depicted given the image of a Pokémon game card contained in the commercial and the consequent likelihood that children may associate it with the program."