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FCC's rules on product placement disclosure, in case you're wondering

April 1, 2010 |  6:36 pm

Wednesday's episode of "Modern Family" with its plot about Apple's new iPad might have you wondering if there are rules are regarding product placement and whether networks are required to disclose placement deals to viewers.

MODFAMILY The answer to both those questions is yes.

The Federal Communication Commission's sponsorship identification rules say, "when money or other consideration for the airing of program material has been received by or promised to a station, its employees or others, the station must broadcast full disclosure of that fact at the time of the airing of the material, and identify who provided or promised to provide the consideration."

The rule goes on to say that the public should know "who is trying to persuade them with the programming being aired."

In the case of "Modern Family," the end credits simply said "products provided by Apple," not "promotional consideration" given or provided by. "Promotional consideration" usually means some form of compensation was exchanged.

On a side note, to review the end credits we had to go to ABC.com. Hulu did not show the end credits. Wonder if the guilds know about this.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: ABC's "Modern Family." Credit: ABC

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