Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Kids' Media Synergy Gets a Little Slap in the Face

My fixation on the newly proposed FCC requirements for kids' websites has resulted in one heck of an oversight, missing the boat on this new rule banning kids' television channels from promoting websites with commercial content (ads). Here's the CNET News story, courtesy of Chris Schuepp from the Young People's Media Network at UNICEF:
Kids' TV faces new Net restrictions
Feds want to keep commercial Web site references out of children's programming, but some say the rules don't go far enough.

By Anne Broache - Staff Writer, CNET News.com - Published: January 24, 2007, 9:51 AM PST

CNN can promote its advertisement-laced online presence however it likes during broadcasts, but new federal rules mean TV channels like Nickelodeon that cater to children no longer enjoy the same freedom. The Federal Communications Commission decreed that during shows geared toward children age 12 and under, cable and broadcast operators may not display addresses for Web sites that contain any links to commercial content. The rules took effect on January 2.

Never mind that recent visits to NickJr.com and Noggin.com, online properties of kid networks, turned up more advertisements for Tylenol cold medicine and Nissan minivans than for anything youth-targeted. And some child advocacy groups would argue that many kids' television shows amount to program-length commercials for the toys and edible goodies endorsed by their stars.

You can access the full article here. Notice how the age range for media regulation is getting smaller and younger...interesting. I wonder what this will mean for all those kidnet MMOG projects, but then again these new initiatives might even be strategically designed to compensate for this new rule. If the site is big and fun enough, they may not need to rely as much on traditional forms of advertising to lure kids in.

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