The Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau is soliciting comment on a petition by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood for a declaratory ruling that Nicktoons' upcoming Zevo-3 series -- scheduled to debut Oct. 11 -- is a program-length commercial in violation of FCC ad limits.
CCFC says the show is in violation because it features characters originally developed by shoe manufacturer Skechers USA to promote the sale of its shoes to kids, which makes the show a program-length commercial, according to CCFC.
The FCC has historically applied its program-length commercial definition to kids shows that feature ads for a product within a show featuring a character associated with it, for example, an ad for Gi Joe dolls within a GI Joe cartoon show.
The FCC has given interested parties until Oct. 22 to file comments and Nov. 8 to file replies.
"We do not believe that the show is a program-length commercial, nor do we agree that its transmission would violate the Children's Television Act or any of the Commission's rules or policies," said Nicktoons in a statement.
Skechers included a DVD of the show in 1 million boxes of its sneakers for the back-to-school selling season.