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Bride Complains About Prize; WKSS Fined

Bride Complains About Prize; WKSS Fined

Contest rules matter.
The FCC has fined a Connecticut station $4,000 for not fully explaining the terms of a contest.
The commission said WKSS(FM) in Hartford-Meridian aired an “I Do Island” contest in 2003 but apparently awarded a prize package valued at less than the value publicized by the station and stated in the contest rules.
Patterned after the TV show “Survivor,” the contest required five brides-to-be to live in the center of a shopping mall for a week, using only the clothes they arrived in. Each day, listeners voted a contestant off “the island.” The woman who won complained to the FCC because she said she was told by the station she would receiver her prize information in two weeks. The woman, not identified in the decision, said she received the information about the prizes three months later and at about $20,000 in value, worth about $10,000 less than advertised.
The station told the FCC the value of the prize package was about $10,000 less and then in a second letter, it said it did not state the value on-air, according to the commission. The station said it offered to host a wedding rehearsal dinner and supply a wedding photographer to increase the value of the prize package. The station said the woman refused the offer, but did accept a $5,000 check.
Commission contest rules state licensees must conduct contests “substantially as announced or advertised” and to disclose “material terms,” including prize value.
Offering the winner more prizes to boost the value of the overall package doesn’t absolve the Clear-Channel-owned station from liability and the proposed penalty, said the FCC.
Within 30 days the station must pay the fine or dispute it.