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FCC Wants $25,000 Fine For 'Conan's Emergency Alert Promo

The FCC is proposing that TBS be fined $25,000 for a 'Conan' promo that simulated the Emergency Alert System.

The promotional spot that aired in April 2012 began with sounds and bars similar to the national alert system until it became clear it was actually an ad for 'Conan'.

The FCC, which apparently received several complaints over the ad, says since the sounds were "substantially similar to the sounds made by the transmission of EAS codes such that an average audience member would reasonably mistake the sounds for the sounds made by actual EAS codes."

It wants TBS to pay $25,000 for "abusing" the system that is only intended to be used in an emergency.

"Today's enforcement action sends a strong message: The FCC will not tolerate misuse or abuse of the Emergency Alert System," says Enforcement Bureau chief Robert Ratcliffe told Reuters and other outlets.

"It is inexcusable to trivialize the sounds specifically used to notify viewers of the dangers of an incoming tornado or to alert them to be on the lookout for a kidnapped child, merely to advertise a talk show or a clothing store."

"This activity not only undermines the very purpose of a unique set of emergency alert signals, but is a clear violation of the law."

November 7, 2013 |

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