Alvaro Garnica, general manager of the V-me Spanish multicast channel on pubTV, recently informed station managers that it replaced all sponsor spots on its schedule with promos while it reviewed that content with its FCC counsel to ensure the spots meet noncom requirements.
HispanicAd.com, an advertising and media news site, ran a short piece on March 28 addressing the issue.
The removal of the spots came after CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan received a note from a concerned viewer that KVIE in Sacramento was "running ordinary commercials" for L'Oreal cosmetics, Oreo cookies, Kool-Aid and State Farm Insurance, which would be an FCC violation. KVIE told Kaplan that it airs V-me content unaltered as a pass-through on its third channel, and that the station does not insert any local underwriting spots. Its contract with V-me requires that content comply with PBS and FCC guidelines.
"V-me is abiding by FCC regulations, reviewing all creative copy to ensure that it meets guidelines," Roselynn Marra, director of stations relations for V-me Media, told Kaplan. "Additionally, as is common among public stations, V-me works with corporations to edit spots they may already have created to make them fit FCC guidelines."