Which is worse, obscene or annoying?

Fcc_2This morning’s Advertising Week session on branded entertainment and the FCC had plenty to keep clients and their agencies awake at night. The usual suspects—food (obesity), indecency (Super Bowl), violence (children), pharmaceuticals (too much), alcohol (youngsters)—were paraded for the listening pleasure of an audience already worrying about the alleged impending death of traditional advertising. Which raised a question: Why is this Republican administration, which advertisers had every reason to believe would be more hands-off than Clinton’s, so active in the area of ad regulation? Ed Thomas, a chief engineer at the FCC and a technology policy adviser at lobbying firm Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis in Washington, suggested this answer: “What is really driving this is that advertising is starting to become annoying.” So, there you have it. Be less annoying, and the FCC will go away. Problem solved!

—Posted by Jim Edwards