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ESPN, NBC, Viacom Fined For Using Emergency Tone in Marketing
by Karl Bode 04:18PM Monday Mar 03 2014
Viacom, NBCUniversal and ESPN are getting hit with a $1.9 million fine for using the emergency broadcast tone in advertising for their 2013 movie, "Olympus Has Fallen." The trailer in question uses the tones briefly at the beginning, alongside banners like "this is not a drill," and "this is not a test." While it's pretty clear most people wouldn't confuse the trailer with an actual emergency warning, it's also pretty clear that the FCC is nipping the practice in the bud to prevent confusion from happening down the road:
quote:
"Frivolous, casual, or other uses of EAS Tones for reasons other than their defined purpose can desensitize viewers to the tones and thereby undermine the effectiveness of the system in the event of an actual emergency,” the FCC said in its complaint. “Although admitting their inclusion of actual EAS Tones in commercials transmitted in their programming, the companies have questioned their liability under the Act and the Commission’s rules."
Viacom and ESPN say they've modified their advertising standards to prohibit the use of emergency warnings.

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GLIMMER

join:2004-01-17
Fisher, IL

its 1.9 million not billion

its 1.9 million not billion.... need to proof read more

On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission proposed $1.93 million in fines against the three programmers, Viacom ($1.12 million), NBCUniversal ($530,000) and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN ($280,000), for airing the offending “Olympus Has Fallen” movie trailer multiple times.
txfeinbergs

join:2009-03-10
Allen, TX

3 recommendations

Re: its 1.9 million not billion

LOL. I saw the billion and thought.... DAMN, the government is actually serious for a change.
pawpaw

join:2004-05-05
Greenville, SC

Re: its 1.9 million not billion

If the FCC copyrighted the tones, then the number would indeed be billion. This would be based on their lost revenue.
dfxmatt

join:2007-08-21
Evanston, IL

Re: its 1.9 million not billion

You do realize any part of government copyrighting something is basically a contradiction, right?

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1
its should be 2 billion, i have had enough of hollywoods lack of respect.

Phoenix2088

join:2002-12-04
Strongsville, OH
kudos:1

Million

Article states million

xstation20

join:2005-05-03
San Jose, CA

Re: Million

i see billion
zefie

join:2007-07-18
Hudson, NY
Reviews:
·DSL EXTREME

Radio Ad

A few years (2006 or 2007 maybe) ago a local station played an ad for a local car dealership, in the summer, and it was mouth sounds of the tones. So they claimed but it was edited in post because it sounded close enough to realistic that i fell for it every time. I listened to the ad all the way through once to figure out the business and contacted them directly. That is when they said it was "just a guy making the sound with his mouth" and that i should "have more confidence in my fellow peers" (i stated that it confused me and could confuse others, this was their response).

I did not know the FCC would have been interested. I hated that ad, and it ran the entire summer.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

7 recommendations

Also

Could we also ban radio advertisers from using police or ambulance sirens?
--
Unicorns! Show ponies! Where's the beef?!

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 recommendations

Re: Also

said by biochemistry:

Could we also ban radio advertisers from using police or ambulance sirens?

Yes, and how about volume changes while we are at it.
dick white
Premium
join:2000-03-24
Annandale, VA

1 recommendation

Re: Also

said by tshirt:

said by biochemistry:

Could we also ban radio advertisers from using police or ambulance sirens?

Yes, and how about volume changes while we are at it.

and the sound of car horns beeping. Getting tired of looking around to see who is expressing their automotive displeasure at me, only to realize it was a f'n ad on the radio by some used car dealer.

anon user

@rcn.com
+1

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
And horns too...

workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Comcast

I remember when...

I was in the studio working on a record back in the 80s and we wanted to use the Emergency Broadcast alert at the beginning of a song.

The engineer informed us that it would be illegal if played on the radio.

LOL.

Blob
--
Don't try to follow me, I have a cab waiting. EEEEEEEEradicator!

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 recommendations

Glad they take this seriously

this morning with TV on low in the other room I heard the tones and went to check... just a test as it is MOST of the time, but it has taken years to ingrain the "pay attention!!! Now!!! " reaction.
Occasionally it is an amber alert or weather/fire related message (someday earthquakes too), and we don't need ANY sales campaign teaching us to NOT pay attention when it counts.
firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL

Re: Glad they take this seriously

still feds did something for once about it

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000
I would like to beat the jackass that decided it was a good idea to include Amber Alerts on weather radios. I don't think I've ever heard an Amber Alert at 3am that was less than 300 miles form my house. I live in Chattanooga, a full 4-5 hours or more from West Tennessee. For a while there the authorities in West Tennessee Counties were abusing the "It's for the children" bullshit by doing statewide Amber Alerts.
--
I do not, have not, and will not work for AT&T/Comcast/Verizon/Charter or similar sized company.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Glad they take this seriously

Abuse of the amber alert system is what can cause complacency to emergency tones. too many of them and the next time the EAS cuts into Jeopardy everyone gets up and goes to the bathroom and misses the tornado warning.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

hackers used the start of this track to hack some EAS systems

hackers used the start of this track to hack some EAS systems

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_%27E···_Can%27t

meskinct
Mad Scientist at Work
Premium
join:2002-01-07
Southbury, CT

Proposed Fine

Seems our fellow news writer overlooked that this is a proposed fine. Time will tell what each ends up really paying...
--
Rich. My Website

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5

853 Hz and 960 Hz Pair Emergency Tones

Forward:
The Code of Federal Regulations could easily rewritten to say "any sounds that a casual listener could perceive them as similar to the defined tones, would be prohibited".

The original 853 Hz and 960 Hz pair was used because the likelihood of two frequencies occurring naturally *and* the harmonics (multiples) and beat (differences) would never be the same.

Other pairs could have been chosen for same reason (like 697 Hz and 1336 Hz for Touch-Tone DTMF signalling), but for some unknown historic reason in the early '50s those two were selected.

The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 73.901 embodies these tones for emergency use only because....If they were for any non-emergency purpose, they would trigger an emergency tone decoder at a radio/TV station. And that is why the FCC got involved.

Had they used similar sounding obnoxious tones, but at least 2% different in frequency 9as to not trigger an emergency teon decoder), the the FCC would be obligated to not object because they are not legally defined emergency tones...in spite of similar sounds would also would "desensitize viewers to the tones".

The Code of Federal Regulations could easily rewritten to say "any sounds that a casual listener could perceive them as similar to the defined tones, would be prohibited".

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1

did you hear that?

it's the sound of some media agency liability lawyer getting reamed...

sandman9r
Premium
join:2003-11-09
Bronx, NY

I Agree W/ The Feds

This is similar to parking in front of a hydrant: Don't do it because you never know if there will be an emergency.

unreal

@spcollege.edu

fines for emergency tone

How many movies have we seen in our life that have ambulance sirens, police sirens, fire department
sirens?

The government is crazy!!! This was a movie trailer and no one in their right mind would have thought
it was real.... because it was in a movie trailer.

Just when I thought I had heard all of the stupid things in the world, this happens.

I encourage the movie studios to take this to the supreme court.

What about the old series" Emergency" back in the 1970's? That had a siren at the beginning of
each show!!! Should the FCC go back and fine that studio too? How about any movie that has a
police sirens, ambulance sirens?

This is so crazy!!!

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1

Re: fines for emergency tone

yes, but one is not the attention tone for a nationwide panic alert. Slight difference.