Let The $4 Billion Rumpus Begin! (FCC Full Disclosure Edition)

The opaque organizations behind a whole bunch of political advertising these days may soon have to drop the veil if the Federal Communications Commission has its way.

From Advertising Age:

FCC’s New Political Ad Disclosure Plan Has Broadcasters Concerned

Planned Website would List Who’s Behind an Ad, How Much They Paid for It

Just as a banner season for political advertising is starting, the Obama administration has thrown broadcasters a curveball — and broadcasters are hustling to figure out what it might mean in terms of costs and implications.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed requiring television stations to post online information about their political advertisers.

That information, currently kept in paper files at the stations, includes the names of candidates or groups requesting to run an ad, the reason for broadcasting the ad, the time and placement of the ad and its cost.

Yikes! The voting public might soon know who’s saying what to them? And how much they’ve paid to say it?

Say it ain’t so.

The National Association of Broadcasters, not surprisingly, has some reservations.

“The political file must be very frequently updated, particularly during the periods close to local, state and federal elections,” said a recent letter by a NAB attorney to the FCC. “Developing a system of uploading, organizing, and ensuring timely online access to the political file presents a significant challenge.”

Not as much of a challenge, though, as figuring out who the hell is running all those ads.

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