"You can't pretend like you are broadcasting news when it is a paid advertisement," said Senator Claire McCaskill, urging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against "ads that mimic newscasts, with actors or even news anchors from a TV station," reports Broadcasting & Cable. McCaskill -- who previously called for a full investigation into the Pentagon's "America Supports You" PR program -- is "particularly concerned about stimulus money ads masquerading as news." She was speaking at a Senate subcommittee hearing on advertising trends and consumer protection. David Vladeck of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection told McCaskill, "Where we see an infomercial masquerading as real news, we will add a charge. But in our view, given our enforcement priorities, the principal actor has to be the FCC." In response to the Center for Media and Democracy's reports on video news releases, the Federal Communications Commission announced its first-ever fines for undisclosed fake news. McCaskill advised marketers to clean up their act, adding, "I will follow-up with the FCC."
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