Responding to continued criticism, the White House drug control office has released a statement clarifying its pro bono media match guidelines.
Key among those rules, the Office of National Drug Control Policy said it will not review episodes for pro bono credit until after a show has been broadcast.
The ONDCP has stressed all along that it doesn’t request to read or alter scripts prior to air. But the networks do occasionally send scripts prior to air to consult on how to depict drug issues, the office has said.
Of the 109 programs that have been approved under the pro bono media match formula, between 20 and 24 were sent to the drug czar’s office in various stages at the network’s request for input, according to the ONDCP.
Confusion over the ONDCP’s policies surfaced Friday, when ABC Television Network prexy Pat Fili-Krushel told reporters that the drug czar’s office changed its rules this year and started requesting an advance peak at scripts prior to broadcast.
The ONDCP said ABC misunderstood the request and that there was no timetable dictating when a series episode should be submitted for media match consideration.
Exex make the call
Also in its guidelines, the ONDCP said it would continue to allow media execs to determine how they meet the match, as long as it is determined to be a 100% match for every federal dollar spent on media outlets.
In addition, the drug czar’s office will keep separate its practice of providing scientific and technical assistance from its post-broadcast valuation decisions, the ONDCP said.
“We believe that these guidelines will eliminate any confusion about how the pro bono match process of the National Youth Media Campaign works,” said ONDCP director Barry McCaffrey.