Compliance Requirements for Advertising on Television

Major media players such as NBC, ViacomCBS, or Disney (to name a few), create advertising 'guidelines' to help advertisers and their representatives, including agencies and legal counsel, create advertisements. 

Compliance in advertising can be tricky, as all material broadcast over such networks must conform to governmental laws and regulations and to the standards and internal policies of the networks themselves. 

Not only are networks responsible for ensuring compliance — but directors are, too. 

What kind of requirements does the industry typically have?

Although it is hard to pinpoint exact requirements since the nature of television can vary — in just the realm of news, we have local, national, and cable TV — every use case can look a little bit different. 

Some commonly notarized forms for television include: producer's demonstration affidavits, affidavits of performance, and publisher's statements. 

What can these notarized documents guarantee?

A producer's demonstration affidavit requires the producer of an advertisement to verify that no undisclosed procedures were employed in the production of this commercial (these commercials) and that the filming or taping was done in a truthful and accurate manner.

An affidavit of performance is a statement, usually notarized, accompanying station invoices which confirms that the commercial actually ran at the time stated on the invoice.

A publisher's statement is a notarized statement from the publisher of total circulation, geographic distribution, method of getting subscriptions, etc.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list! However, truth and verification in TV ads is important to maintaining integrity in depictions of product demonstrations, such as children's toys or even prescription drug advertising as reviewed by the FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (“DDMAC”). 

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