The Federal Communications Commission has issued an enforcement advisory alerting commercial television and radio broadcasters that they may not include clauses in advertising sales contracts that allow advertisers to discriminate based on race or ethnicity. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that the commission will vigorously enforce the rule and that “discrimination simply has no place in broadcasting.”
The advisory targets “no urban/no Spanish” clauses put in contracts to sidestep placing ads in urban or Latino outlets. Stations now will have to certify that their agreements don’t contain such a clause. Otherwise they risk having their broadcast licenses revoked. David Honig, president and executive director of the Minority Media & Telecom Council, said that the ending such discriminatory practices could help minority stations increase their revenues by 5 to 10 percent.
“With strong enforcement, these actions by the Federal Communications Commission will finally bring to an end the practice of some advertisers’ refusal to buy time on stations because they serve African-American or Hispanic audiences,” Honig said. “[The] announcement is a huge step forward for minority broadcasters and for the nation.