A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.

National Advertising Division of Better Business Bureau Asks Verizon to Drop 5G Claim

The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Better Business Bureau says that Verizon's claims in TV ads that it is "building the most powerful 5G experience for America" is not supported by the evidence and recommended that it discontinue or modify that claim. AT&T had complained about the ads, which promote 5G service in sports venues, to the NAD, which is the investigative unit of the ad industry's self-regulatory unit.


New America

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 21:00

The heavily regulated world of political advertising on broadcast TV stands in stark contrast to the wild west of political advertising online. Broadcast TV is subject to strict rules on recordkeeping and disclosure, as well as limits on who can buy such ads and how much they can be charged. In contrast, social media companies, like print publications, are free to adopt whatever standards they want for paid political messaging. But given the opaque sourcing of online political ads and their potential virality, should we apply broadcast rules to online ads?

Senators Push for Relief for Rural Broadcasters, Local Newspapers During Coronavirus Pandemic

74 senators cosigned a letter to the Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought to support radio and televisions broadcasters and local newspapers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our radio and television broadcasters and rural newspapers provide local and national news, emergency alerts, educational programs, and more to all corners of the United States.

Chairman Pai's Response to Rep. Pallone and Rep. Doyle Regarding a Broadcast Station's Right to Air Legally Protected Speech

On April 2, House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to reassure broadcasters that the FCC will not revoke licenses for airing legally protected speech.

Congress' local news bailout push

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is circulating a draft letter to be sent to the White House requesting additional relief targeted specifically at local newsrooms. The letter asks President Trump to:

Trump Campaign Sues Wisconsin TV Station Over Critical Ad

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is suing a Wisconsin TV station for running an anti-Trump commercial that pieces together audio clips of the president talking about the coronavirus outbreak in a way they argue is misleading and false. The ad by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA features a series of soundbites in which Trump downplayed the threat posed by the virus, while a chart that is splashed across the screen gradually begins to shoot upward as cases of the virus skyrocketed across the US.

House Commerce Committee Democratic Leaders Urge FCC to Reaffirm Broadcaster Licenses Won't Be Revoked for Airing Protected Speech

House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai demanding the FCC reassure broadcasters that the agency will not revoke licenses for airing legally protected speech. On March 25, President Donald Trump’s campaign sent letters to certain broadcasters regarding the airing of an advertisement critical of the President’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump Campaign’s Threat on TV Licenses May Be Mostly Bluster

The Donald Trump re-election campaign told TV stations they could lose their operating licenses for airing an ad criticizing the president’s actions in the coronavirus crisis -- a challenge that may be more bluster than actual threat. President Donald Trump’s campaign, in a letter on March 25, told stations in five battleground states to stop showing the ad from Priorities USA, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Failure to remove the ad “could put your station’s license in jeopardy” before the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign said.

Twitter Suppresses Speech by Calling It ‘Manipulated Media’

Twitter recently rolled out a new policy aimed at “manipulated media.” Its first target: a 13-second clip tweeted by Dan Scavino, White House director of social media, featuring [out of context words from Joe Biden]. The Biden campaign quickly denounced the video as “disinformation” and pressured both Twitter and Facebook to take it down. Twitter slapped the manipulated-media label on it. Facebook put a “partly false” screen over it. The debate that followed helped earn the clip millions of views.

Coronavirus, campaigns, and connectivity

If we have to suspend or otherwise modify political campaigning because of coronavirus, social media will become even more important and the fissures it creates even more painful. We should expect the platform companies such as Facebook and Google to step up to this national emergency—but can we?