The FCC’s Sponsorship Identification Rules: Ineffective Regulation of Embedded Advertising in Today’s Media Marketplace

In the contemporary media landscape, the advertising industry is increasingly relying on embedded advertising to reach consumers. The scope of embedded advertising in today’s marketplace raises significant concerns and complicated First Amendment questions regarding the type of regulation needed to suit the interests of all parties concerned. In 2008, the FCC released a joint Notice of Intent/Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled Sponsorship Identification Rules & Embedded Advertising, which requested comments on the FCC’s proposed changes to its sponsorship identification rules in light of this growing prevalence of embedded… advertising. Yet, four years later, the FCC’s sponsorship identification rules are exactly the same. This Note argues that the negative consequences stemming from embedded advertising far outweigh the potential negative consequences of increased regulation, and that revising the sponsorship identification rules are necessary to better serve societal Assange and WikiLeaks who subsequently publish such classified information. In the context of these actors, the Act violates the First Amendment unless, at the very least, the government can establish that dissemination of the classified information poses a clear and present danger of grave harm to the nation.

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