Monday, July 18, 2005

TV Commercial Day for the Content-Commercial Hybrid

Get out your party hats and be ready to do the couch potato: 28 August will be "TV Commercial Day". Well, that's if you live in Japan and are actually willing to give attention to an attempt by the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters "to highlight the benefits of TV advertising to viewers." Its President, Hisashi Hieda, has pointed out that commercials and programs should be viewed as one combined, inseparable unit and said that: "Skipping the commercials would amount to a violation of the Copyright Law.”

Hieda seems to be running high on a TiVo -fever, or at least a fear of the ad skipping machinery. Leaving his "copyright violation" remarks for what they are, what to think of his commercial & content-are-one mantra? It's a mindset that follows from the increasing empowerment of consumers to skip ads, and the reaction of advertisers to reach for more intransparent advertisement measures, trying to make the distinction between content & commercials harder and thus still reaching the masses. At least in Europe there's been a body of legislation which proscribes distinctions between content and commercials for broadcasting, now set to be transposed to internet broadcasting. A murky field (of law), but increasingly interesting, and a reason to celebrate indeed.

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