The Politics of Product Placement

In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said product placement "is permissible, so long as it is disclosed," but that the FCC "could be more aggressive in monitoring the material that goes out. ... But given that we are not set up as an investigatory agency, we're going to rely heavily on outsiders to provide us information." While some broadcasters have "enhanced their disclosure" of product placement arrangements voluntarily, sometimes "it is virtually impossible for the average viewer to see because it is so small and passes by so quickly during the closing credits," Adelstein said. "We do have requirements about the size and length of disclosure for political advertising. I don't see why we shouldn't have the same for any advertising that needs to be disclosed. The current regulations require full and fair disclosure, but we have never spelled out what that means."