Children’s TV activists are decrying proposed hourlong toy infomercials to be aired on Saturday and Sunday afternoons during Christmas.

Action for Children’s Television founder Peggy Charren called the planned infomercials “the latest example of institutional child abuse in the advertising industry.”

Toy infomercials are reportedly the brainchild of Horizon Media Inc., a New York-based firm that hopes to produce hourlong shows in which eight to 10 toy manufacturers can explain the novelty of their new toys.

Representatives of Horizon Media could not be reached for comment. However, it’s believed the company hopes to sell TV stations on the idea of airing the commercials on weekend afternoons.

The D.C.-based Center for Media Education, a liberal public interest group, said stations may run afoul of the law if the blurbs are aired. “We are shocked at this blatant attempt to get around the law which limits children’s TV advertising,” said CME co-director Kathryn Montgomery.

The kidvid law requires TV stations to meet the educational needs of children or risk losing their licenses. The law also limits commercials during children’s TV hours to 10 1/2 minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes on weekdays.

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