Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

58 Federal Communications Law Journal 361 (2006)


In 1990, Congress passed the Children's Television Act ("CTA"), which directed the FCC to establish standards for broadcasters regarding the amount of children's programming aired and to enforce limits on the amount of commercial time aired during children's programming. The limits are meant to protect children from various harms caused by advertising aimed at children. This Note examines the constitutionality and the effectiveness of these commercial limits. The Note concludes that while the CTA's commercial limits are probably constitutional under the Court's test for regulations of commercial speech, the limits do not provide children with adequate protection from the harms of advertising. The Note suggests several changes that should be made in the regulation of advertising aimed at children. Most importantly, the Note argues that the focus of the regulation should shift from limiting the amount of commercial material viewed by children to reducing the misleading nature of advertising aimed at children. The Note argues that the suggested content-based regulation would be constitutional under the Court's test for regulation of commercial speech and would more effectively protect children from the harms of advertising than the current regulation.